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Almost twice as many people die from Alzheimer's today than they did 15 years ago

Almost twice as many people die from Alzheimer's today than they did 15 years ago


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Deaths from Alzheimer's are increasing rapidly
More and more older people are diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This also leads to more deaths as a result of the disease. Today, Alzheimer's disease costs almost twice as many lives a year as it did 15 years ago. Researchers have now come to this conclusion when examining Alzheimer's deaths among the American population.

When investigating the Alzheimer's Association, scientists found that nearly twice as many people now die from the effects of Alzheimer's compared to 15 years ago. The doctors published the results of their study in the so-called Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report for 2017.

Increased life expectancy is not the main cause of death from Alzheimer's disease
The very high rates of deaths due to Alzheimer's disease are frankly scary, explains Keith Fargo of the Alzheimer's Association. Many people will probably think that the reason for this is our increased life expectancy. This is only true to a certain extent.

Alzheimer's is not a normal part of the older age
Most people do not get Alzheimer's, whether they live for 80 or 90 years. Alzheimer's disease is not normal, so we shouldn't accept it as part of age. Something must definitely be done about the trend of rising deaths from the disease, the expert adds.

Alzheimer's disease will continue to rise massively
The latest report also found that over 5 million American seniors over the age of 64 suffer from the disease. According to the researchers, this number is expected to increase to 14 million by 2050. Almost half a million seniors will develop this disease in 2017 alone, the experts say. In addition, another 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have Alzheimer's.

Illness leads to massive costs
All of these diseases lead to high costs for the health system. Caring for Alzheimer's patients in America costs about $ 259 billion a year each year. This amount is expected to increase to $ 1.1 trillion by 2050, the authors wrote.

What causes the increase in costs?
The rising numbers are likely to reflect a number of different factors. The effect is partly due to the increasing number of older people, the doctors explain. This is due on the one hand to the successes in treating other leading causes of death, and on the other to the increasing awareness that Alzheimer's is a deadly disease.

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in America
The report also showed that Alzheimer's is now the fifth leading cause of death among seniors. In general, Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death among Americans, the scientists say. There is no prevention, no real progress in treatment and no permanent cure for the disease.

Carers' health also suffers from Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's also has a negative impact on the health of caregivers of Alzheimer's and dementia patients. More than a third (35 percent) of nurses reported that their health has deteriorated due to the care of Alzheimer's patients. On the other hand, only 19 percent of caregivers of older people without dementia saw a deterioration in their own health, say the doctors. Caregivers of dementia patients also suffered more frequently from depression and anxiety.

Tell-tale signs of Alzheimer's have to be recognized more effectively
The report also showed growing efforts to identify telltale signs of disease development. The goal is for neurological signs to be better recognized, the authors explain. These include, for example, changes in brain size, changes in spinal fluid content and the growth of so-called nerve plaques in the human brain. (as)

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