2016 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures

Alzheimer's Association

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This report describes the public health impact of Alzheimer's disease, including incidence and prevalence, mortality rates, costs of care, and the overall impact on caregivers and society. It also examines in detail the financial impact of Alzheimer's on families, including annual costs to families and the difficult decisions families must often make to pay those costs. An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. By mid-century, the number of people living with Alzheimer's disease in the United States is projected to grow to 13.8 million, fueled in large part by the aging baby boom generation. Today, someone in the country develops Alzheimer's disease every 66 seconds. By 2050, one new case of Alzheimer's is expected to develop every 33 seconds, resulting in nearly 1 million new cases per year. In 2013, official death certificates recorded 84,767 deaths from Alzheimer's disease, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death in Americans age ≥65 years. Between 2000 and 2013, deaths resulting from stroke, heart disease, and prostate cancer decreased 23%, 14%, and 11%, respectively, whereas deaths from Alzheimer's disease increased 71%. The actual number of deaths to which Alzheimer's disease contributes is likely much larger than the number of deaths from Alzheimer's disease recorded on death certificates. In 2016, an estimated 700,000 Americans age ≥65 years will die with Alzheimer's disease, and many of them will die because of the complications caused by Alzheimer's disease. In 2015, more than 15 million family members and other unpaid caregivers provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of care to people with Alzheimer's and other dementias, a contribution valued at more than $221 billion. Average per-person Medicare payments for services to beneficiaries age ≥65 years with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are more than two and a half times as great as payments for all beneficiaries without these conditions, and Medicaid payments are 19 times as great. Total payments in 2016 for health care, long-term care and hospice services for people age ≥65 years with dementia are estimated to be $236 billion. The costs of Alzheimer's care may place a substantial financial burden on families, who often have to take money out of their retirement savings, cut back on buying food, and reduce their own trips to the doctor. In addition, many family members incorrectly believe that Medicare pays for nursing home care and other types of long-term care. Such findings highlight the need for solutions to prevent dementia-related costs from jeopardizing the health and financial security of the families of people with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-509
Number of pages51
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A23 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Report : These data come from an analysis of findings from the 2008 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). The analysis was conducted for the Alzheimer's Association by Julie Bynum, M.D., M.P.H., Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Care, Center for Health Policy Research [190] . The MCBS, a continuous survey of a nationally representative sample of about 16,000 Medicare beneficiaries, is linked to Medicare Part B claims. The survey is supported by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). For community-dwelling survey participants, MCBS interviews are conducted in person three times a year with the Medicare beneficiary or a proxy respondent if the beneficiary is not able to respond. For survey participants who are living in a nursing home or another residential care facility, such as an assisted living residence, retirement home or a long-term care unit in a hospital or mental health facility, MCBS interviews are conducted with a nurse who is familiar with the survey participant and his or her medical record. Data from the MCBS analysis that are included in 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures pertain only to Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older. For this MCBS analysis, people with dementia are defined as:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Care contributor
  • Caregivers
  • Dementia
  • Diagnostic criteria
  • Families
  • Family caregiver
  • Financial security
  • Food security
  • Health care costs
  • Health care expenditures
  • Incidence
  • Income
  • Long-term care costs
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Medicaid spending
  • Medicare spending
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Prevalence
  • Sandwich generation caregiver
  • Spouse caregiver


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