Alzheimer's Disease On The Rise

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 1/08/2013 6:25 pm
Every 63 seconds, someone in America is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, according to a 2012 report by the Alzheimer's Association.

By 2050, that time is expected to be every 33 seconds.

Doctors said the disease--a fatal form of dementia--is on the rise, especially since the baby boomers turned 65 in 2011.

65 is the age when Alzheimer's often strikes. The chances of getting it increases every year after that.

In 2012, 5.4 million people had Alzheimer's disease (5.2 million were 65 or older).

80,000 Kentuckians had the disease in 2010.

Unless preventatives, treatments, or a cure are developed, between 11-17 million people are estimated to have it by 2050.

It's not a cheap disease, either--care cost an estimated $200 billion in 2012, $140 billion of it coming from Medicare and Medicaid.

By 2050, that number is expected to rise to $1.1 trillion.

However, doctors said that though age is the biggest risk factor for developing it, not everyone does.

"All of us are not going to get Alzheimer's disease. It's actually a disease. Just like heart disease. Just like cancer," said Dr. Linda Van Eldik, Director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

And although there is currently no cure or treatment, doctors said there are ways to lower your chances of developing Alzheimer's: diet and exercise.

"Things that lower your risk for cardiovascular disease also lower your risk for alzheimer's," said Dr. Van Eldik.
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