University U District Alzheimer's Disease Burden

The Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s disease is the 7th leading cause of death among American adults. It is the 5th leading cause of death for adults aged 65 years and older. Notably, mortality rates for Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates which are continuing to decline.

An estimated 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. This number has doubled since 1980, and is expected to be as high as 13.5 million by 2050.

In 2010, total Medicare and Medicaid spending for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease was estimated at $123 billion.

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease make up less than 13 percent of the Medicare population, yet they account for 34 percent of Medicare spending.*

*Reference: Urban Institute, unpublished tabulations from the 2000 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey and Medicare Claims, 2005; published by the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, 2007.