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Facts and Figures

Facts-and-FiguresIt is estimated that as many as 5.4 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease.

One or more of several diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, can cause dementia.

The incidence of the disease is rising in line with the aging population.

Although Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, the risk of developing the illness increases with advanced age. Current research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years beyond age 65.

As our population ages, the disease impacts a greater percentage of Americans. The numbers of people age 65 and older will more than double between 2010 and 2050 to 88.5 million, or 20 percent of the population; likewise, those 85 and older will rise three-fold, to 19 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

It is estimated that about a half million Americans younger than age 65 have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. (This is referred to as young onset or early onset.)

It is estimated that one to four family members act as caregivers for each individual with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease mortality is on the rise

With a rapidly aging baby boomer population, Alzheimer’s will continue to impact more lives. From 2000-2006, Alzheimer’s disease deaths increased 46.1 percent, while other selected causes of death decreased. Strategic investments in managing other diseases have resulted in declines in deaths, and we need to see the same type of investment for Alzheimer’s.

African-Americans and Hispanics are at greater risk

African-Americans and Hispanics are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s. African-Americans are approximately twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s than whites, and Hispanics are about 1.5 times more likely than whites to develop the disease.

Although there appears to be no known genetic factor for these differences, the report examines the impact of health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions that are prevalent in the African-American and Hispanic communities, and how these conditions also increase Alzheimer risk.

Another interesting aspect is the fact that although African-Americans and Hispanics have a higher rate of Alzheimer’s than whites, they are less likely than whites to have been diagnosed.

Key Facts about Alzheimer’s disease
5.4 million people have Alzheimer’s 183 billion dollars in annual costs
5th leading cause of death 15.9 million unpaid caregivers


  1. Today 5.4 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s.
  2. There are 77.5 million Baby Boomers in the United States who are just now turning 65.
  3. It is expected that 10 million Baby Boomers will get Alzheimer’s.
  4. One in 8 Baby Boomers is expected to get Alzheimer’s.
  5. By 2050 the expected number of Alzheimer’s patients in the U. S. is expected to reach 16 million.
  6. 1 million new cases are diagnosed each year.
  7. Every 69 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s.
  8. In 2050, an American will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds.
  9. Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
  10. 80,000 Americans die from Alzheimer’s each year.
  11. Each year, Alzheimer’s kills more Americans than breast and prostate cancer combined.
  12. Alzheimer’s is the only disease of the top 10 causes of death in America without a known way to prevent it, cure it, or slow its progression.
  13. Today, America spends $183 billion in caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
  14. Costs will reach over $1.1 trillion in 2050, and that’s not counting inflation.
  15. With the aging of the Baby Boomers, treating Alzheimer’s patients could bring the U.S. to its financial knees. It very well could bankrupt the United States.
  16. Over the next 40 years, Alzheimer’s will cost over $40 trillion, enough to pay off the national debt, and still send a $20,000 check to every man, women, and child in America.
  17. Alzheimer’s disease costs U.S. businesses more than $60 billion a year, stemming from lost productivity and absenteeism by primary caregivers, and associated insurance costs.
  18. The annual cost of caring for one individual with Alzheimer’s disease ranges from nearly $18,500 to more than $36,000, depending on the stage of the disease.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association