Pharos-Tribune

Community News Network

April 4, 2013

Dementia care at $109 billion more expensive than heart disease

SAN FRANCISCO — The cost of caring for dementia patients has reached $109 billion annually, exceeding that for heart disease and cancer, and will double by the time the youngest Baby Boomers reach their 70's, according to a study.

Dementia, most commonly taking the form of Alzheimer's, results in a loss of brain function affecting memory, thinking, language, judgment and behavior. More than 5 million Americans have the Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and that number will rise 40 percent by 2025. Dementia represents a substantial financial burden on society, researchers said in the study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The need for treatments for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders is now urgent, researchers said. To speed along research, President Barack Obama announced earlier this week a campaign called the BRAIN Initiative, which will spend $100 million beginning in 2014 to map the complex interactions between brain cells and neurological circuits.

"We need more research into interventions to delay or halt the onset of dementia, right now we don't really have anything at all," said Michael Hurd, an author of the study and director of Rand Corp.'s Center of the Study of Aging, in an interview. "The problem is going to grow rapidly."

When support from family and friends is given a cost value, the yearly expense of dementia care and treatment doubled to $215 billion in 2010, the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, said. That figure will jump to $511 billion by 2040, as the generation born between 1946 and 1964 range become elderly, according to the study.

By comparison, the direct cost of treating heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, was $102 billion in 2010, while cancer cost $77 billion, according to the paper.

The study, conducted by researchers from Rand Corp. and the University of Michigan, estimates 15 percent of people older than 70 have dementia, based on their interviews with 856 out of almost 11,000 participants in the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. They also collected self-reported out-of- pocket costs, nursing home spending, Medicare claims data and estimates of hours spent by unpaid volunteers. The annual cost per person was estimated to be $56,290.

The NIH report is a prominent effort from a non-advocacy group to determine the financial toll of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association has estimated higher prevalence and a cost of $172 billion in 2010, based on different methodologies.

Little is known about the causes of many brain disorders, including Alzheimer's, a disease expected to affect 65.7 million people by 2030. There have been 101 unsuccessful attempts to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's disease since 1998, including recent setbacks by Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly & Co., according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In January 2011, Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act into law. Its goal is to improve the ability of the federal government to track costs to Medicare, Medicaid and individuals that result from dementia.

The study "heightens the awareness of the particular problem of Alzheimer's disease that somehow as a nation we're going to have to accommodate for," said Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute of Aging in Bethesda, Md., the arm of NIH that directs Alzheimer's research, in an interview. "Not just the cost for professionals, but the enormously important hours spent by volunteers out of love, becomes more and more of a challenge when we have fewer and fewer people able to take on that role."

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Robin_Williams.jpg Williams among many who cracked jokes while fighting depression

    Robin Williams isn't the only comedian who has struggled with a disease suffered by an estimated 350 million people worldwide. Williams, a comedian known for his manic energy, committed suicide Aug. 11 at age 63.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug dealers going corporate

    A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work.

    August 13, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.