According to Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures, from 2000-2013, the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent, while deaths from other major diseases decreased. And while the disease continues to rank as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, it actually causes more deaths than official sources recognize. Acute conditions, like pneumonia, are often listed as the cause of death rather than the underlying chronic disease — Alzheimer’s.
In addition to the human toll, the report confirms that Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation, costing the country $226 billion this year. These costs will grow exponentially as baby boomers age and are projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.
Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures also includes a special report on how health care providers disclose an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Only 45 percent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers reported being told the diagnosis, whereas people with the four most common cancers and their caregivers reported diagnosis disclosure rates of more than 90 percent. An accurate and timely diagnosis is important to people facing the disease so they can maximize their quality of life and play an active role in planning for the future.
Visit alz.org/facts to download the full Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report and watch their video.