Alzheimer’s in Arizona

Arizona will see a dramatic increase in the number of people with Alzheimers disease over the next seven years. The 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report shows a 42.9 percent increase in Alzheimer’s cases in our state by 2025.

From KTAR-News in Phoenix:

The latest report from the Alzheimer’s Association said Arizona has the second-highest growth rate for Alzheimer’s diagnoses in the country.

“There are currently 140,000 people living with the disease in our state,” Katie Skvarce, the communications director for the association’s Desert Southwest chapter, said. 

“That number is expected to grow by nearly 43 percent in the next seven years.”

That would put the number of Alzheimer’s cases in Arizona at more than 200,000 people. Alzheimer’s causes problems with memory, spatial tasks and other things.

The report shows Alzheimer’s disease is the 5th leading cause of death in our state. Nearly 3,000 people died of the disease in 2015. That was a whopping 182 percent increase in Alzheimer’s deaths since 2000.

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According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the skyrocketing number of Alzheimer’s cases in our state will also carry an economic toll.

The cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will surpass $277 billion nationwide, according to a new report released by the Alzheimer’s Association.

By 2050, that number is expected to jump to more than $1.1 trillion, according to the 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report.

Arizona is on track to feel the brunt of those rising costs, as the number of individuals living in the Grand Canyon State will grow by 42.9 percent in the next seven years — making Arizona the second highest growth rate in the country.

“The Alzheimer’s growth rate in Arizona is stunning,” says Dan Lawler, Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter Executive Director. “It is time to take notice. It is time to take action. We must change the trajectory of this disease.”

CBS News pointed out that about 5.5 million Americans over the age of 65 currently have Alzheimer’s. “By 2025, the number of seniors with Alzheimer’s could reach 7.1 million, up nearly 29 percent. And, if no new treatments are found, that number could hit 13.8 million by 2050.”

Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, that will occur every 33 seconds, the experts said.

While deaths from other major causes continue to decline, Alzheimer’s deaths have more than doubled, rising 123 percent between 2000 and 2015. By comparison, the number of deaths from heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States — fell 11 percent.

Share your thoughts on this report and what it could mean to our state both short-term and into the future. Let us know what you believe we have to do in order to change the trajectory of this disease in Arizona. Generating important conversations around the health stories affecting the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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