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VOL. 42 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 19, 2018

Alzheimer’s disease by the numbers

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Alzheimer’s disease currently affects at least 5.2 million Americans, including about 110,000 Tennesseans. That number is expected to reach 14-16 million people by 2050 as more member of the baby boom generation reach 65, the age at which risk of developing Alzheimer’s begins to increase.

Worldwide, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects an estimated 47 million people.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the fifth-leading cause among Americans over age 65.

The U.S. spends $200 billion annually on care for those with Alzheimer’s disease, and will spend $1 trillion by 2050. That’s roughly equal to the defense budget.

The federal government will devote about $1.6 billion to research on Alzheimer’s and related dementia in fiscal year 2018. In contrast, the government spent $7 billion on cancer and cancer genomics in fiscal year 2017.

On average, people live 4 to 8 years after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but some live as long as 20 years. Lifespan and progression depend on many factors and vary greatly from person to person.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association, National Institutes of Health

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