Americans are developing Alzheimer's at an accelerating rate, a new study has revealed. And most of the risk is falling on baby boomers.
The Alzheimer's Association report, called "2008 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures," shows that nearly one out of eight baby boomers will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's in their lifetime. That's almost 10 million people.
"What we're faced with here is the boomer population coming of age," said Gary Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging. "There are going to be a lot more people at risk."
The study also said that the U.S. would be faced with about a half-million new cases of Alzheimer's in 2010 and nearly a million per year by the middle of the century.
If left unchecked, the disease could put a massive financial strain on the government health care system.
USA Today reported today that Medicare spending on Alzheimer's was at $91 billion in 2005 and could reach $160 billion within the next two years.
Researchers say physical exercise may be the best way to ward off the debilitating disease.
Other facts presented by the Association's study were:
- Some 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer's
- Every 71 seconds a person develops Alzeheimer's
- Women are more likely than men to have Alzheimer's disease and dementia
For more information on the disease, and to read the complete Alzheimer's Association report, click here.
Sources: CBN News, USA Today, Alzheimer's Association