About this report Alzheimer s
About this report
2018 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures is a statistical resource for U.S. data related to Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia. Background and context for interpreting the data are contained in the Overview. Additional sections address prevalence, mortality and morbidity, caregiving, and use and costs of health care and services. A Special Report discusses the benefits and cost savings of diagnosing Alzheimer's earlier in the disease process, in the stage of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Overview of Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative MMP-2/MMP-9 Inhibitor I disease and the most common cause of dementia [1,2]. Dementia is a syndrome—a group of symptoms—that has a number of causes. The characteristic symptoms of dementia are difficulties with memory, language, problem-solving and other cognitive skills that affect a person's ability to perform everyday activities. These difficulties occur because nerve cells (neurons) in parts of the brain involved in cognitive function have been damaged or destroyed. In Alzheimer's disease, neurons in other parts of the brain are eventually damaged or destroyed as well, including those that enable a person to carry out basic bodily functions such as walking and swallowing. People in the final stages of the disease are bed-bound and require around-the-clock care. Alzheimer's disease is ultimately fatal.
Prevalence Millions of Americans have Alzheimer's or other dementias. As the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's or other dementias will grow. This number will escalate rapidly in coming years, as the population of Americans age 65 and older is projected to grow from 53 million in 2018 to 88 million by 2050 [144,145]. The baby boom generation has already begun to reach age 65 and beyond , the age range of greatest risk of Alzheimer's; in fact, the oldest members of the baby boom generation turned age 72 in 2018.
4. Mortality and morbidity Alzheimer's disease is officially listed as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States . It is the fifth-leading cause of death for those age 65 and older . However, ecology may cause even more deaths than official sources recognize. Alzheimer's is also a leading cause of disability and poor health (morbidity). Before a person with Alzheimer's dies, he or she lives through years of morbidity as the disease progresses.
Caregiving Caregiving refers to attending to another person's health needs. Caregiving often includes assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and dressing, as well as multiple instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), such as paying bills, shopping and using transportation [256,257]. Caregivers also provide emotional support to people with Alzheimer's. More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or other dementias.A14 In addition to providing descriptive information, this section compares caregivers of people with dementia to either caregivers of people with other medical conditions, or if that comparison is not available, to non-caregivers.
Use and costs of health care, long-term care and hospice The costs of health care and long-term care for individuals with Alzheimer's or other dementias are substantial, and dementia is one of the costliest conditions to society . Total payments in 2018 (in 2018 dollars) for all individuals with Alzheimer's or other dementias are estimated at $277 billion (Figure 10). Medicare and Medicaid are expected to cover $186 billion, or 67 percent, of the total health care and long-term care payments for people with Alzheimer's or other dementias. Out-of-pocket spending is expected to be $60 billion, or 22 percent of total payments.A19 Throughout the rest of this section, all costs are reported in 2017 dollars unless otherwise indicated.A20