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.
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.
Regular readers know I feel very strongly that getting a flu shot is a good idea and greatly increases our chances of missing out on this annual disease. I have an entire page on flu shot related items.
Now, the National Institutes of Health publication HealthDay reports that getting a seasonal flu shot “might also significantly reduce your risk of stroke.
“We know that cardiovascular diseases tend to hit during winter, and that the risks may be heightened by respiratory infections such as flu. Our study showed a highly significant association between flu vaccination and reduced risk of stroke within the same flu season,” said lead investigator Niro Siriwardena, a professor in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln in England.”
I always start advising personal friends as well as readers to get their flu shot in October to be protected for the entire season. That turns out to be a good thing as the study authors said stroke risk reduction was strongest if a person received a shot early in the flu season.
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