|Alzheimers disease is not a
normal part of aging. It is a devastating disorder of the brains nerve
cells that impairs memory, thinking, and behavior and leads, ultimately,
to death. The impact of Alzheimers on individuals, families and our
health care system makes the disease one of our nations greatest medical,
social and fiscal challenges.
An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimers disease.
The number of Americans with Alzheimers has more than doubled since
The number of Americans with Alzheimers disease will continue to grow
by 2050 the number of individuals with Alzheimers could range
from 11.3 million to 16 million.1
Finding a treatment that could delay onset by five years could reduce the
number of individuals with Alzheimers disease by nearly 50 percent
after 50 years.2
In a Gallup poll commissioned by the Alzheimers Association,
1 in 10 Americans said that they had a family member with Alzheimers
and 1 in 3 knew someone with the disease.3
Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimers. One in 10
individuals over 65 and nearly half of those over 85 are
affected.4 Rare, inherited forms of
Alzheimers disease can strike individuals as early as their 30s and
A person with Alzheimers disease will live an average of eight
years and as many as 20 years or more from the onset of symptoms as estimated
by relatives.6 From the time of
diagnosis, people with Alzheimer's disease survive about half as long as
those of similar age without dementia. Average survival time is affected
by age at diagnosis and severity of other medical
National direct and indirect annual costs of caring for individuals
with Alzheimers disease are at least $100 billion, according
to estimates used by the Alzheimers Association and the National Institute
Alzheimers disease costs American business $61 billion a year, according
to a report commissioned by the Alzheimers Association. Of that figure,
$24.6 billion covers Alzheimer health care and $36.5 billion covers costs
related to caregivers of individuals with Alzheimers, including lost
productivity, absenteeism and worker
More than 7 out of 10 people with Alzheimers disease live at home,
where almost 75 percent of their care is provided by family and
friends.6 The remainder is paid care
costing an average of $12,500 per year. Families pay almost all of that out
Half of all nursing home residents have Alzheimers disease or a related
The average cost for nursing home care is $42,000 per year but can
exceed $70,000 per year in some areas of the
The average lifetime cost of care for an individual with
Alzheimers is $174,000.8
By 2010, Medicare costs for beneficiaries with Alzheimers are expected
to increase 54.5 percent, from $31.9 billion in 2000 to $49.3 billion, and
Medicaid expenditures on residential dementia care will increase 80 percent,
from $18.2 billion to $33 billion in 2010, a report commissioned by the
Alzheimers Association concludes.13
The Alzheimers Association has awarded more than $165 million in research
grants since 1982, according to our audited annual financial statements.
The federal government estimates spending approximately $640 million for
Alzheimers disease research in fiscal year
For more information and a printable version of these statistics, see Basic
Facts and Statistics.
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For questions or further information on statistics, please contact the
Alzheimers Association Benjamin B. Green-Field Library and Resources
by calling 800.272.3900 or 312.335.9602 or by e-mailing
1 Hebert, LE; Scherr, PA; Bienias, JL; Bennett,
DA; Evans, DA. Alzheimer Disease in the U.S. Population: Prevalence
Estimates Using the 2000 Census. Archives of Neurology August
2003; 60 (8): 1119 1122.
2 Brookmeyer, R; Gray, S; Kawas, C. Projections
of Alzheimers Disease in the United States and the Public Health Impact
of Delaying Disease Onset. American Journal of Public Health
1998; 88(9): 1337 1342.
3 1992 Gallup survey of 1,015 individuals. For
more information, please contact our Green-Field Library.
4 Evans, DA; Funkenstein, HH; Albert, MS; et al.
Prevalence of Alzheimers Disease in a Community Population of
Older Persons: Higher than Previously Reported. JAMA 1989; 262(18):
5 Bird, TD; Sumi, SM; Nemens, EJ; Nochlin, D;
Schellenberg, G; et al. Phenotypic Heterogeneity in Familial
Alzheimers Disease: A Study of 24 Kindreds. Annals of
Neurology 1989; 25(1): 12 25.
6 Losing a Million Minds: Confronting the Tragedy
of Alzheimers Disease and Other Dementias. U.S. Congress Office
of Technology Assessment; U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987; p. 14.
7 Larson, EB, Shadlen, M-F, et al. Survival
after Initial Diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease. Annals of Internal
Medicine, 6 April 2004; pp. 501 - 509.
8 Ernst, RL; Hay, JW. The U.S. Economic
and Social Costs of Alzheimers Disease Revisited. American
Journal of Public Health 1994; 84(8): 1261 1264. This study cites
figures based on 1991 data, which were updated in the journals press
release to 1994 figures. Cited in 2001 2002 Alzheimers Disease
Progress Report. National Institutes of Health publication number 03-5333,
July 2003; p. 2.
9 Koppel, R. Alzheimers Disease: The Costs
to U.S. Businesses in 2002. Washington, D.C.: Alzheimers Association;
10 Rice, DP; et al. The Economic Burden
of Alzheimers Disease. Health Affairs, Summer 1993; 12(2):
11 National Nursing Home Survey. National
Center for Health Statistics, 1985; p. 49.
12 Unpublished data reported by Alzheimers
Association chapters in some regions.
13 Medicare and Medicaid Costs for People
with Alzheimers Disease. Washington, D.C.: April 2001: The Lewin
Group; p. 1.
14 Unpublished analysis
of federal budget documents by Alzheimers Association senior public