A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the first of its kind to forecast the effects of Alzheimer’s disease by ethnicity and race. The report found that the burden of Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia will double by 2060, with minority populations having the largest increase due to population growth.
Take a closer look at the CDC’s projections for Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S. and how they demand more support for caregivers by 2060.
Alzheimer’s Cases Will Double by 2060, CDC Says
In 2014, the burden of Alzheimer’s was five million people, accounting for 1.6% of the U.S. population.
The CDC estimates that in 2060, Alzheimer’s cases will double, with the burden being 13.9 million people – almost 3.3% of the population.
CDC Director, Robert R. Redfield, M.D., states, “This study shows that as the U.S. population increases, the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias will rise, especially among minority populations. Early diagnosis is key to helping people and their families cope with loss of memory, navigate the health care system and plan for care in their future.”
Because of population size, the CDC predicts that these populations will account for the largest increase in Alzheimer’s cases:
- African Americans (13.8%)
- Hispanic Americans (12.2%)
- Non-Hispanic Whites (10.3%)
- American Indian and Alaska Natives (9.1%)
- Asian and Pacific Islanders (8.4%)
The Focus on More Support for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
Because an early diagnosis can have a huge impact on the care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, the report calls for more support for disease caregivers.
Health geographer and lead author of the study with the CDC’s Division of Population Health within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Kevin Matthews, Ph.D., says:
“It is important for people who think their daily lives are impacted by memory loss to discuss these concerns with a health care provider. An early assessment and diagnosis is key to planning for their health care needs, including long-term services and supports, as the disease progresses.”
The CDC plans to continue to work to improve the lives of people with the disease and their caregivers by:
- Collecting and summarizing data on cognitive decline.
- Promoting awareness of Alzheimer’s, especially the importance of an early diagnosis.
- Working with other partners to better train healthcare workers on disease care, across cultural and racial lines.
Have you seen a rise in Alzheimer’s cases in your community? How can the U.S. better care for caregivers? We’d like to hear your stories in the comments below.