Number of people with Alzheimer’s to double by 2060: CDC

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The number of people in the United States with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is expected to double by 2060, according to a study published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2014, there were 5 million people, or 1.6% of the U.S. population, who had dementia. By 2060, according to the research, 13.9 million people, or almost 3.3% of the population, will have the disease.

Of those with dementia, 51% will be aged 85 or more years, 35% will be aged 75 to 84, and 14% will be aged 65 to 74. Fifty-one percent will be non-Hispanic whites, 23% will be Hispanic, 16% will be African-American, 7% will be Asian or Pacific Islander, 1% will be American Indian or Alaska Native and 2% will be two or more races / ethnicities.

Although the CDC researchers predicted that non-Hispanic whites will still have the largest total number of Alzheimer’s cases, Hispanic Americans will have the largest projected increase due to population growth over the projection period. The researchers said this study is the first to forecast Alzheimer’s estimates by race/ethnicity.

“This study shows that as the U.S. population increases, the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias will rise, especially among minority populations,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., said in a statement. “Early diagnosis is key to helping people and their families cope with loss of memory, navigate the healthcare system and plan for their care in the future.”

Study results were published online in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. The researchers used population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau and information on the percentages of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 or more years who had Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.