Number of Alzheimer’s deaths in Kentucky on the rise

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report was released Tuesday, including important, updated findings related to the individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia living in Kentucky.

An estimated 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, including 71,000 in Kentucky. By 2025, the report projects a 21.1 percent increase in the number of people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia in Kentucky alone.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in both Kentucky and the U.S. and the only disease in the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. In Kentucky, there were 1,694 deaths from Alzheimer’s disease in 2015 – over a 10 percent increase from 2014.

From 2000-2015, the number of deaths nationally from Alzheimer’s disease as recorded on death certificates increased by 123 percent, while the number of deaths from other major diseases has decreased:

  • HIV deaths decreased by 55 percent.
  • Stroke deaths decreased by 16 percent.
  • Heart disease deaths decreased by 11 percent.
  • Prostate cancer deaths decreased by 7 percent.
  • Breast cancer deaths decreased by 1 percent.

The report also discusses the disease’s impact on caregivers, such as family members. In 2017, more than 16 million Americans (including 272,000 Kentuckians) provided 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care, including physical, emotional and financial support for the estimated 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. This impact of dementia caregiving is estimated to have resulted in $11.4 billion in health care costs in the United States in 2017.

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