Currently, Alzheimer's disease is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans age 65 and older, the CDC said. That number is set to rise to 13.9 million people, or 3.3 percent of the population, in 2060. Treatments include "helping people maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms, and slow down certain problems, such as memory loss".
It is hard to predict just how many people will develop Alzheimer's, the most common cause of dementia. This is followed by Hispanics, at 12.2 percent; non-Hispanic whites, at 10.3 percent; American Indian and Alaska Natives, at 9.1 percent; and Asian and Pacific Islanders, at 8.4 percent.
Hispanic Americans will likely have the greatest increase due to population growth, but whites will still have the largest total number of Alzheimer's cases. The increases are a result of people living longer.
Presently amidst adults aged 65 and older, African-Americans have the excessive pervasiveness of Alzheimer's disease and associated dementias at 13.8 percent.
As a percentage of the population, that's more than double over four decades.
"If you count how many people have the pathology in the brain that says they're on their way, that goes up to closer to 20 million", Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, a neurologist and Alzheimer's specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, told NBC News in a Facebook Live conversation Friday. "An early assessment and diagnosis is key to planning for their health care needs, including long-term services and supports, as the disease progresses", said lead author Kevin Matthews, health geographer with the CDC's Division of Population Health.
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