The Facts

Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, an annual report released by the Alzheimer's Association®, reveals the burden of Alzheimer's and dementia on individuals, caregivers, government and the nation's health care system.

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Fig. 1

Ages of People with Alzheimer’s Dementia, 2019

An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019. This number includes an estimated 5.6 million people age 65 and olderA1,51 and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s, though there is greater uncertainty about the younger-onset estimate.159 Of the 5.8 million people who have Alzheimer’s dementia, 81 percent are age 75 or older

 

Ages of People with Alzheimer’s Dementia, 2019


 

Fig. 2

Lifetime Risk of Alzheimer’s Dementia

Lifetime risk is the probability that someone of a given age who does not have a particular condition will develop the condition during his or her remaining life span. Data from the Framingham Heart Study were used to estimate lifetime risks of Alzheimer’s dementia by age and sex. The study found that the estimated lifetime risk for Alzheimer’s dementia at age 45 was approximately one in five (20 percent) for women and one in 10 (10 percent) for men. The risks for both sexes were slightly higher at age 65.

 

Estimated Lifetime Risk for Alzheimer’s Dementia, by Sex, at Ages 45 and 65


 

Fig. 3

Looking to the Future: Aging of the Baby Boom Generation

A large segment of the American population — the baby boom generation — has begun to reach age 65 and older, ages when the risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias is elevated. By 2030, the segment of the U.S. population age 65 and older will increase substantially, and the projected 74 million older Americans will make up over 20 percent of the total population (up from 16 percent in 2019).157,246 As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the numbers of new and existing cases of Alzheimer’s dementia, as shown in Figure 3.

 

Projected Number of People Age 65 and Older (Total and by Age) in the U.S. Population with Alzheimer’s Dementia, 2010 to 2050

 

 

Trends of Hope

Despite significant challenges to improving brief cognitive assessments in the primary care setting, there are a number of encouraging signs that the United States is moving toward better and more numerous assessments, and better awareness of cognitive decline. Both seniors and PCPs think cognitive assessments are important, indicating that there is a strong foundation of knowledge on which to build going forward. PCPs are asking for information about how to better conduct assessments, demonstrating a desire for improvement. The fact that PCPs who have been in practice for fewer than 25 years are conducting more brief cognitive assessments and placing more importance on them than their older counterparts also suggests that the future will see improved early detection of cognitive decline. Finally, as awareness and usage of the Medicare AWVs, and the new care planning benefit grows, it will become progressively more common to regularly assess the cognition of older adults