Dementia Deaths Have Doubled in Two Decades
Alzheimer’s disease — the most common form of dementia for which there is no effective conventional treatment or cure — currently affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans,1 up from 5.4 million in 2016. By 2050, that figure is projected to hit 14 million.2
Research3 published in 2014 revealed Alzheimer’s had risen to the point of being the third leading cause of death in the U.S.4 For clarification, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to list Alzheimer’s as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.,5 this ranking is based on death certificates, and the study in question found Alzheimer’s was grossly underreported as a cause of death on death certificates.
Recalculations based on the evaluation of donated organs from the diseased put the actual death toll attributable to dementia at 503,400, making it the third leading cause of death, right behind heart disease and cancer.
According to CDC data, the death rate from Alzheimer’s rose 55 percent between 1999 and 2014.6,7 Now, the latest report from the National Center for Health Statistics reveals the rate of death from dementia more than doubled between 2000 and 2017, from 84,000 to 261,914.8,9,10
Forty-six percent of dementia deaths in 2017 were attributed to Alzheimer’s. Other forms of dementia included vascular dementia, unspecified dementia and other degenerative nervous system diseases. But again, this data is based on death certificates, which the CDC admits (and the 2014 study above demonstrated) underrepresents the true death toll.