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Alzheimer's Foundation of America Survey: Americans With Memory Concerns Fall Short of Talking to Doctors
Date:7/30/2008

hysician; of those with memory concerns, 40.3 percent had seen their primary care physician within the last month, and 44.3 percent had an appointment within the last six months.

Failure to report memory symptoms to the respondent's physician was independent of gender, age, ethnicity or educational background.

In addition, 21 percent said they kept the concerns entirely to themselves. Those who shared their complaints did so with a spouse (41.2 percent), friend (30 percent) or adult child (25.5 percent).

The median age of respondents was 72. While age poses the greatest risk for Alzheimer's disease, affecting mostly people aged 65 and older, the survey also found that those who came in for screenings had other healthcare concerns that are known risk factors for the brain disorder. Among them, 18.3 percent reported that they are depressed; 16.4 percent have diabetes; and 14.4 percent said they are obese.

"Americans need to step up their efforts to optimize overall health, including brain health. The threat of Alzheimer's disease and co-existing conditions is too great to ignore," Powers emphasized.

Asked why participants came in for a screening, 32.3 percent said they were forgetful and 40.6 percent wanted to establish a baseline.

Currently, AFA is gearing up for its 6th annual National Memory Screening Day, which will be held on November 18. Free confidential screenings will be available nationwide at various community sites, including the entire chain of 1,100 Kmart pharmacies, local Alzheimer's agencies, senior and community centers, assisted living facilities, adult day centers, and doctor's offices. For information, visit http://www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.

The event is the focal point of AFA's year-round advocacy efforts to promote proper diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and successful aging. It is overseen
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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