To facilitate comparison of their findings with estimates from earlier studies using a lower minimum age, the researchers combined their estimates for ages 71 and over with those from other studies for ages 60 to 70. This resulted in an estimated total of 3.8 million people with dementia, including just over 2.5 million with Alzheimers disease.
The only previous national estimate of dementia prevalence, obtained by extrapolating from regional samples, was 2.9 million, the researchers noted. Our study finds that the prevalence of dementia is about 30 percent higher than this estimate, Langa said.
Four previous national estimates of the prevalence of Alzheimers disease were all obtained by extrapolation from regional samples. These estimates ranged from 2.1 million to 4.5 million.
What this study and others before it confirm is that there are millions of Americans living with Alzheimers and dementia, and that number is estimated to grow at an epidemic rate if we dont do something about it, said William Thies, vice president of Medical and Scientific Relations at the Alzheimers Association. The nations leaders need to act now to advance research for effective treatments and provide care and support to those living with Alzheimers.
As the elderly population in the United States grows, the number of individuals with dementia will certainly increase tremendously, said U-M economist David Weir, who directs the ISR Health and Retirement Study. Planning for the long-term care needs of this vulnerable population will become increasingly important. This new data, used along with related data from the Health and Retirement Study, should increa
|Contact: Diane Swanbrow|
University of Michigan