Alzheimer’s disease rates in the United States are expected to double by the year 2060, according to the latest study by The Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC statistics are derived from actuarial data which predicts more people living into old age ( 65 years ), and health claims data from 28 million Medicare beneficiaries.
Currently, an estimated 5 million senior citizens have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.
By 2060 this figure is expected to rise to 13.9 million, or 3.3 percent of the United States population, according to the CDC.
Alzheimer’s is now the fifth-leading cause of death for adults 65 and older. It is the sixth-leading cause of death for Americans overall. The disease destroys memory and cognitive functioning and worsens with age.
The report also charts the racial and ethnic disparities among those who develop dementia. In adults 65+, an estimated 13.8 percent of black Americans had Alzheimer’s in 2014. This compares with 12.2 percent of Hispanics, 10.3 percent of whites, and 8.4 percent of Asians.
By 2060, 3.2 million Hispanics and 2.2 million African-Americans will have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.
Currently, there is no cure for this devastating disease. Intensive drug trials have been attempted and tested, but to date not one drug has survived the critical Stage-3 clinical trials to satisfy the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
At this point, early diagnosis is key to helping patients and families cope with loss of physical and mental function.