Alzheimer's Disease Will Cost Americans $277 Billion This Year


Alzheimer's-related costs for families and society are $20 billion higher than previous year and the number of Americans living with Alzheimer's is on the rise.

Every 65 seconds someone in the USA develops Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study by the Alzheimer's Association.

"This year's report illuminates the growing cost and impact of Alzheimer's on the nation's health care system, and also points to the growing financial, physical and emotional toll on families facing this disease", said Keith Fargo.

"One treatment option in the report modelled the potential cost of a preventative treatment that could be given to over 29 million people to delay the start of Alzheimer's". The costs are estimated to cross $1.1 trillion by 2050 in 2018 dollars, they write.

According to the latest published data from the Alzheimer's Association, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease today.

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the fifth-leading cause of death among those age 65 and older. The number is staggering, especially compared to how deaths from heart disease (which is the leading cause of death in the U.S.) have dropped by 11% in the same time frame. "Because of the growing prevalence, rising morality rate and lack of an effective treatment, we are going to see an ever-increasing burden on society because of this disease", said Bickford.

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"This case was considered an outlier occurrence because people who suffered from dementia like illness then tended to be in the 70 to 80 age range", Ingram recalled.

The diagnosis cases are such strong that in every 65 seconds, some in the USA gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia. My father is living with Alzheimer's disease, and as my siblings and I do our best to support my mother as his caregivers, we understand how crucial it is to change the way we, as a country, address the disease. Forty-one percent of caregivers have a household income of $50,000 a year or less.

On the treatment aspect, Ingram said the medical science research community is "behind the 8-ball" because since the disease was first identified by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906 it was largely ignored in the medical community. However, many older people have such plaques in their brains but do not have dementia.

Total national cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated at $277 billion (not including unpaid caregiving) in 2018, of which $186 billion is the cost to Medicare and Medicaid; out-of-pocket costs represent $60 billion of the total payments, while other costs total $30 billion.

In addition, costs are lower once a person with Alzheimer's gets on the right care path. The study found that the average projected cost of health and long-term care for an individual with Alzheimer's can range from $360,000 - $424,000.

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