Monday, March 10, 2014
According to a new study in the journal Neurology, Alzheimer’s deaths are much more common than we realized.
Nearly 500,000 likely died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 alone, which is almost six times higher than previous estimates based on death certificates. Because severe dementia can lead to other issues, such as pneumonia, dementia tends to be left off the death certificate as the immediate cause of death.
The study analyzed data from two existing studies following people over age 65. The study found that people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s were more than three times as likely to die than those not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, living an average of just four years after being diagnosed. The study aims to increase funding for Alzheimer's, which based on these new figures, may contribute to as many deaths as the two leading killers in America, heart disease and cancer.
See Kathryn Doyle, Alzheimer’s Deaths Much More Common Than Realized: Study, The Baltimore Sun, March 5, 2014.