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5.2 Million Americans Have Alzheimer's

Forecast Calls for 10 Million Baby Boomers to Develop Alzheimer's Disease in the Future
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

March 18, 2008 -- An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and 10 million U.S. baby boomers will develop the disease in the years to come.

The Alzheimer's Association released those statistics today in a new report. Last year's report counted 5.1 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease.

"Every 71 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer's disease," the report states. "By mid-century, someone will develop Alzheimer's every 33 seconds."

The Alzheimer's Association projects that 7.7 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease in 2030, and 11-16 million in 2050, barring medical advances in treating or preventing Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease becomes more common with age, but it's not a normal part of aging. The new report shows that one in eight people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer's disease.

Nearly 10 million relatives, friends, and neighbors provide unpaid care for loved ones with Alzheimer's, according to the report.

The report also predicts the lifetime odds of developing Alzheimer's disease -- that is, the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease at some point in your remaining years.

Alzheimer's disease will strike one in six women aged 55 and older, and almost one in 10 men aged 55 and older, the Alzheimer's Association estimates.

Of the 78 million baby boomers -- who will be 44-62 years old this year --14 million will one day develop dementia; most of those cases will be Alzheimer's disease, the report notes.

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