Alzheimer’s Deaths May Be Drastically Under-reported

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently ranks Alzheimer’s Number Six among the leading causes of death in the U.S. Investigators now say the illness more accurately sits atop the list alongside killers Ranked  One and Number Two: heart disease and cancer, reports HealthDay, a service of the U .S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

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An analysis of two aging studies published in the journal Neurology tallied fatalities among nearly 2,600 seniors 65 and older from the mid-1990s up until 2013.

All were initially dementia-free although annual clinical testing revealed that almost 22 percent ultimately developed Alzheimer’s a diagnosis that appeared to triple or even quadruple the rate of death.

Upon death, approximately 90 percent were autopsied and because all were organ donors, the cause of mortality was clearly noted in each case. Number crunching on a national scale revealed that among all Americans 75 and up, Alzheimer’s likely accounted for more than 500,000 deaths in 2010 five to six times higher than figures previously reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2013, Alzheimer’s care cost $203 billion in the U.S. Costs are expected to climb past $1 trillion by 2050.

Tony

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Filed under aging, Alzheimer's, dementia

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