Health Care

Alzheimer's disease on the rise

Alzheimer's disease on the rise

Spending on care for people alive in the USA right now who will develop the affliction is projected to cost $47 trillion over the course of their lives, a report issued Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association found. "Alzheimer's is a burden that's only going to get worse". That doesn't include the burden that falls on unpaid caregivers such as family and friends, who past year provided 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care-which the report estimated to be the financial equivalent of $232.1 billion.

By 2025 - just seven years from now - the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's dementia is estimated to reach 7.1 million - an increase of nearly 29 percent from the 5.5 million age 65 and older affected in 2018. The estimated cost of care comes to $277 billion this year, not including unpaid caregiving.

Total costs of care for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias could top $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2018 dollars), according to the report. The report finds that at present 5.7 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease and of these 5.5 million are over the age of 65 years.

In 2017, more than 16 million Americans provided about 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care to Alzheimer's patients, worth $232 billion. Since medical advancements have helped more people survive heart disease and stroke, they live longer to reach the age when the risk of dementia rises dramatically.

"While our report highlights a number of challenges that could affect the roll-out of future dementia treatments in the NHS, we believe these challenges can be overcome if we act now and work together".

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Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease.

According to the Alzheimer's Research UK, dementia has higher health and social care costs (£11.9bn) than cancer (£5bn) and chronic heart disease (£2.5bn) combined. Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and fifth-leading cause of death among the seniors.

Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the USA, and it is the fifth-leading cause of death for those age 65 and older. This dramatic rise includes more than four-fold increases both in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and in out-of-pocket spending. It is one of the only causes of death among the top ten that can not be cured, prevented or even slowed in its progress. The cause of the disease is still mostly unknown, but scientists suspect that a big contributor is beta-amyloid - a peptide that builds up in the brain and disrupts neuron communication, eventually killing them off.

Early diagnosis of cognitive impairment provides a number of important benefits to diagnosed individuals, their caregivers and loved ones, as well as society as a whole.

A successful treatment for Alzheimer's would cost the NHS up to £9.4 billion a year and planning for it must start now, experts say.