Posts tagged: death rate

Death Rate From Alzheimer’s Disease Has Risen By 55%

Death Rate From Alzheimer's Disease Has Risen By 55%
Graphic – herbs-info.com Image sources – see foot of article

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [1] have released very startling data about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The morbidity rate from the neurodegenerative disease posted an astonishing 55% increase between 1999 and 2014. The CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report noted that the death rate of people with AD rose from 16.5 to 25.4 deaths per 100,000 during this time.

Symptoms of AD include memory loss, impaired language, confusion, disorientation, and difficulties in decision making.

A fatal form of dementia, AD is now the sixth [2] leading cause of death in the U.S. Almost four percent of deaths in 2014 were attributed to AD which is also one of the top ten causes of death among people ages 65 years and older.

the report, written by Christopher Taylor, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, highlighted AD as a public health problem that affects both the patients and the people who provide care for them. Family members take on the difficult burden of caregiving in almost 25 percent of Americans who died from AD.

According to CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, AD is now affecting millions of Americans. The growing number of aging adults in the U.S. has made the situation even worse. One of the most basic risk factors or AD is age. As more baby boomers age, there is an inevitable increase in deaths from AD. Other factors that have contributed to the increase include greater diagnosis of the disease in its earlier stages, fewer deaths from other causes such as heart disease, and better reporting by physicians.

Recent data from the Alzheimer’s Association [3] revealed that more than five million Americans have AD. By 2050, Americans living with the disease are expected to rise three-fold.

For Keith Fargo, director at the Alzheimer’s Association, the 55 percent rise in AD deaths is just an adjusted number. He insisted that the death rate should be higher, 83 percent when the math on the unadjusted numbers is considered.

The 2017 study is commended for providing county-level rates for deaths caused by AD. The National Vital Statistics System [4] was the source of the CDC report which gathered state- and county-level death certificate data. Researchers identified deaths with AD cited as the underlying cause. Counties in the Southeast, Midwest, and West Coast registered the highest death rates. Forty-one states of the District of Columbia recorded age-adjusted rates of Alzheimer’s mortality.

The CDC stressed the importance of caregivers as AD progresses. The health agency pushed for programs that would benefit caregivers and patients including education about AD, construction of systems of care that suit the patients and their caregivers, and how AD patients could take care of themselves and their loved ones.

While the country has made great strides fighting HIV/AIDS and many cancers, Americans still have a pessimistic view about dementia. [5] Fargo believes that the eradication of AD could be made real if there is a commitment to research, primarily at the federal level.

Health experts are urging the U.S. government to push federal funding into Alzheimer’s that will not only help support families but also support research to discover a cure – which is nonexistent, as of this writing.

References:

[1] Taylor CA et al. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/pdfs/mm6620a1.pdf

[2] Hannah Nichols. 2017. Medical News Today. The top 10 leading causes of death in the United States http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php

[3] Alzheimer’s Association. 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s and Dementia https://www.alz.org/documents_custom/2016-facts-and-figures.pdf

[4] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Vital Statistics System https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/

[5] Levvy B et al. 2016. Pschology and Aging. Negative age stereotypes predict Alzheimer’s disease biomarker http://psycnet.apa.org/psycarticles/2015-54839-001

Infographic photo sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alzheimer%27s_disease_brain_comparison.jpg