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Study Predicts Alzheimer’s Disease Will Triple by 2050

More than 7 million patients will be 85 years old and older (Feb. 6)

In a new report published in Neurology, researchers estimate that the number of Americans aged 65 years and older with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will nearly triple to 13.8 million by 2050 as the “baby boomer” population continues to age.

Investigators at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging in Chicago, Ill., calculated the probabilities of AD dementia from a longitudinal, population-based study involving 2,577 clinical evaluations and 1,913 people. These data were then combined with U.S. mortality, education, and new U.S. Census Bureau estimates of current and future populations to estimate the current and future numbers of people with AD dementia in the U.S.

The investigators determined that, in 2010, 4.7 million people aged 65 years and older had AD dementia. Of these individuals, 0.7 million were between the ages of 66 and 74 years; 2.3 million were between the ages of 75 and 84 years; and 1.8 million were 85 years old and older. In contrast, the authors estimate that a total of 13.8 million people will have AD dementia in 2050, with more than half of these individuals (7.0 million) aged 85 years and older.

The authors warn that “the number of people in the United States with AD dementia will increase dramatically in the next 40 years unless preventive measures are developed.”

Source: Neurology; February 6, 2013.

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