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Monday 26th August 2019

One in three seniors in US die with dementia

20th March 2013

One out of every three senior citizens in the United States now dies while suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Old Hands

The study from the Alzheimer’s Association found dementia is the cause of death in many instances, or contributes to it.

Figures show Alzheimer-related deaths rose by 68% in the first decade of the new millennium, while deaths from heart disease and HIV/AIDS fell.

Beth Kallmyer, vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer’s Association, said Alzheimer’s disease was now very much a public health crisis.

“One in three seniors is dying with Alzheimer’s or another dementia,” she said. “For other major diseases, the death rate is going down because the federal government funds and invests in research. We have not seen that same commitment for Alzheimer’s disease.”

The organisation also warned about the impact the condition was having on sufferer’s family members, with them providing more than 17 billion hours of unpaid care with an estimated value of $216 billion.

With many carers living a distance away from relatives, there were also transport and other costs.

“Long-distance caregiving can be financially, emotionally and physically more draining,” Kallmyer said.

The US government currently funds about $500 million in Alzheimer’s research, compared to the $4 billion in research funding heart disease receives and the $6 billion for cancer.


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