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Report: Alzheimer’s burden growing at alarming pace

The Alzheimer’s Association recently released its 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, which provides an in-depth look at the latest statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, costs of care and impact on caregivers across the country and in Nevada.

One of the biggest takeaways from this year’s report is that the Alzheimer’s burden in this country and state continues to grow, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deaths because of Alzheimer’s have increased 145% since 2000, while deaths for other major diseases remained flat or decreased. As the U.S. population ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death.

There were at least 42,000 more deaths from Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2020 compared to averages over the previous five years, a 16% increase. In Nevada, there were 486 more deaths from Alzheimer’s and dementia in 2020 than compared to averages over the past five years, a 29.7% increase. In 2020, Nevada had the second highest increase in dementia deaths in the country.

For the fifth consecutive year, the cost of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s is surpassing a quarter of a trillion dollars. Here in Nevada, the Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s are estimated at $203 million. By 2025, these costs are projected to increase by 36.5%. Additionally, Medicare spending on people with dementia has reached $36,533, the highest in the nation.

An estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020, including 49,000 people in Nevada. This number is expected to rise to 64,000 by 2025, a 30.6% increase.

In Nevada, 48,000 caregivers provided a total of 78 million hours of unpaid care, valued at a total of $1.334 billion. More than 80% of these caregivers report having chronic health conditions, and more than 18% of caregivers report living with depression.

Additionally, this year’s special report, for the first time, examines racial and ethnic attitudes and experiences in regard to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

Findings from two nationwide surveys of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native and White Americans – conducted with U.S. adults and Alzheimer’s caregivers specifically – reveal compelling insights on how these groups view Alzheimer’s disease, medical research and barriers they face in accessing dementia care.

For the full report, visit https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures

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