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1 in 7 Americans over age 70 has dementia
Date:10/30/2007

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---One in seven Americans over the age of 70 suffers from dementia, according to the first known nationally representative, population-based study to include men and women from all regions of the country.

About 3.4 million people, or 13.9 percent of the population age 71 and older, have some form of dementia, the study found. As expected, the prevalence of dementia increased dramatically with age, from five percent of those aged 71 to 79 to 37.4 percent of those age 90 and older.

About 2.4 million of those with dementia, or 9.7 percent of the population age 71 and older, were found to have Alzheimers disease, the most common cause of dementia, according to the study.

Published in the November 2007 issue of Neuroepidemiology, the study is based on data from 856 men and women who participated in the Aging, Demographics and Memory Study conducted in 2002 by researchers at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) and Duke University Medical Center and funded by the National Institute on Aging. The study was part of the larger ISR Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative survey of Americans age 51 and older.

These conditions affect millions of older Americans and touch nearly every family in some way, and the situation is only going to get worse as the population ages, said Duke University researcher Brenda Plassman, the lead author of the journal article.

The study provides the first prevalence estimates based on a nationally representative sample of older adults from all regions of the United States, allowing policymakers and care providers to make better plans for caring for those with dementia and their families. Plassman and co-author Kenneth Langa, who is affiliated with ISR and with the U-M and Veterans Affairs Health Systems, also note that the findings will assist in assessments of the impact of future treatment advances as they become available, and in g
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Contact: Diane Swanbrow
swanbrow@umich.edu
734-647-9069
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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