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The Deadly Threat of Alzheimer's for Baby Boomers

A new report out last week says 1 in 3 baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's between now and mid-century and the cost to Medicare will skyrocket.

According to research presented at the July 2014 International Alzheimer's Association International Conference, there will be a shift toward more severe forms of the disease, leading to greater Medicare costs. In 2020, the projected Medicare costs of caring for baby boomers with Alzheimer's in the community will amount to $11.86 billion, in 2014 dollars, which is the equivalent of 2.1% of total Medicare spending. By 2040, when the baby boom generation is aged 76-94, the projected Medicare costs will jump to $328.15 billion, in 2014 dollars and represent an increase to 24.2% of total Medicare spending.  

Key findings include:
  • The prevalence of Alzheimer's among American baby boomers will rise from 1.2% in 2020, when most boomers will be in their 60s and early 70s, to an astonishing 50.1% in 2050, when all the boomers will be age 85+. This means that by 2040, more than twice as many baby boomers will have Alzheimer's disease (10.3 million) compared with the equivalent age group in 2015 (4.7 million).
  • When the first baby boomers turn 70 in 2016, Alzheimer's prevalence in their age group will jump from less than 1% among individuals ages 65-69 to nearly 2.5% among individuals ages 70-74. At the same time, the number of Americans needing Alzheimer's care and support will increase dramatically, with huge cost implications for decades to come.

Dr. Keith Fargo of the Alzheimer's Association Director of Scientific Programs & Outreach says, "The risk of Alzheimer's increases with age, and as baby boomers get older, the number of people developing the disease will rise to levels far beyond anything we've ever seen before."

SCARY THOUGHT.

What may be even scarier for some of you is how your own children and grandchildren may respond to your need for medical care. 

About AAIC
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) is the largest gathering of leading researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer's and other dementias. As a part of the Alzheimer's Association's research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.
AAIC 2015 home page: www.alz.org/aaic/ 
AAIC 2015 newsroom: www.alz.org/aaic/press.asp
About the Alzheimer's Association®
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

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