Dementia is the Second Largest Contributor to Death

According to a report released this week by the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia in the United States. The new Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report shows that while deaths from other major diseases, such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke, continue to experience significant declines, Alzheimer’s deaths continue to rise — increasing 68 percent from 2000-2010.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and is the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. Based on 2010 data, Alzheimer’s was reported as the underlying cause of death for 83,494 individuals — individuals who died from Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Facts and Figures reveals that in 2013 an estimated 450,000 people in the United States will die with Alzheimer’s. The true number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s is likely to be somewhere between the officially reported number of those dying from and those dying with Alzheimer’s.

According to Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Facts and Figures, a recent study evaluated the contribution of individual common diseases to death using a nationally representative sample of older adults and found that dementia was the second largest contributor to death behind heart failure. Among 70-year-olds with Alzheimer’s disease, 61 percent are expected to die within a decade. Among 70-year-olds without Alzheimer’s, only 30 percent will die within a decade.

Special Focus on the Long-Distance Caregiving Experience

2013 Facts and Figures also explores the challenges faced by long-distance caregivers for people living with Alzheimer’s. The report finds that nearly 15 percent of caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia are “long-distance caregivers” — caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease who live at least 1 hour away. These long-distance caregivers had annual out-of-pocket expenses nearly twice as high as local caregivers — $9,654 compared to $5,055.

For more information: Alzheimer’s Association

The full text of the Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures can be viewed at