32 Most Important Alzheimer’s Statistics & Facts for 2021

Alzheimer's Statistics

As the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s statistics claim, this illness causes over 60% of dementia cases. Dementia is a broad term for brain injuries and illnesses that affect one’s memory, thinking, and behavior.

Losing your memory does sound daunting. However, there’s no reason for panic. There’s no cure for this disease, but Alzheimer’s prevention is possible in some cases. In any case, you are not alone in this battle. Just be extra careful as Covid19 stats for Alzheimer’s are worrying, as you’ll see down below.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important statistics and facts about this brain disease.

10 Most Significant Alzheimer’s Statistics for 2021

  • $355 billion is the cost of Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases for 2021.
  • In 2020, 50 million people worldwide were suffering from dementia.
  • An American develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds.
  • Mississippi was the state with the highest Alzheimer’s death rates in 2019
  • Turkey has the highest number of Alzheimer’s and dementia-caused deaths
  • Dementia patients were 2.6 times more likely to be hospitalized, during the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.
  • 5.8 million Americans over 65 had Alzheimer's dementia in 2020.
  • 67% of Alzheimer’s disease patients in the US are women.
  • CBD for Alzheimer’s costs less than alternative medication.

Keep scrolling to learn more about what causes Alzheimer’s, Alzheimer’s symptoms, how to prevent Alzheimer’s, and how marijuana and Alzheimer’s are connected.

Facts on Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia 

How many people worldwide are diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

1. In 2020, 50 million people worldwide were suffering from dementia.

(Alzint) (WHO)

Every 3.2 seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. In other words, each year, there are over 9.9 million new dementia cases. 

It’s estimated that by 2030, the number of cases will reach 82 million. Facts About Alzheimer’s show 60%–70% of all dementia patients are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

2. People older than 65 are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

(Healthline)

The main symptoms of Alzheimer’s include memory loss that affects daily activities, trouble performing familiar tasks, difficulties with solving problems, speaking and writing problems, becoming disoriented about times or places, decreased judgment and personal hygiene, and personality and mood changes.

3. 1 in 14 of the British who are 65 or over suffers from dementia.

(Alzheimers.org)

Alzheimer’s statistics for the UK show over 850,000 people lived with dementia in 2019. On top of that, it’s estimated that 1.5 million Britons will be diagnosed with dementia by 2025 if the current rate doesn’t change.

4. Young-onset dementia affects 9% of people under 65.

(Alzheimers.org)

Young-onset dementia affects people under 65, and although its cause is similar to dementia that affects people over 65, its symptoms are quite different. Dementia’s most common type is Alzheimer’s, which affects 1 in 3 younger people, i.e., 2 in 3 older people. 

While memory loss is one of the first Alzheimer’s symptoms in older people, that’s not the case with younger people. In fact, they experience some atypical symptoms that include reading problems, difficulty in speaking, aka finding the right word, or difficulty in making decisions. 

5. Brain changes can start 20 years before there are any symptoms of the disease.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

The changes in the brain are so small that they’re unnoticeable to the affected person. It takes years of brain changes for people to experience noticeable symptoms, as facts about Alzheimer’s disease have shown. 

Symptoms happen because nerve cells in parts of the brain involved in thinking, learning, and memory are damaged or destroyed. Over time, symptoms increase and start interfering with people’s ability to perform everyday activities. This is known as dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.

6. There are five major risk factors for getting Alzheimer’s disease.

(WebMD) 

The biggest risk factor is one’s age. The older a person is, the more likely they are to get Alzheimer’s. People over 65 are at higher risk of developing this disease. Then, there is the risk of genetics. In other words, Alzheimer’s prevalence is higher among people who have a sibling or a parent that suffers from this disease.    

Gender also plays a significant role. Compared to men, women are more often diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Additionally, head injury is also a great risk factor. And finally, people that have Down syndrome often get Alzheimer’s between their 30s and 40s.

7. Over 40% of Alzheimer’s caregivers report high or very high levels of stress.

(Alzheimer’s.net)

A quarter of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers also care for a child or grandchild, so they are sometimes referred to as the “sandwich generation caregivers.” 

In addition to this, according to statistics on Alzheimer’s disease, one in six caregivers had to quit their jobs because the burden and the stress levels of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s were too great.

8. Alzheimer’s patients have two times more hospital stays per year than other elderly people.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

People who suffer from this illness are more likely to suffer from other diseases like heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. They also tend to stay more in specialized nursing facilities per year than other groups of elderly people.  

9. Alzheimer’s statistics worldwide estimate 60% of people who have dementia live in low and middle-income countries.

(Alzint)

This number will grow to 71% by 2050, with China and India leading the way since they have the fastest growth in the elderly population.

10. $355 billion is the cost of Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases for 2021.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

This is without $256.7 billion in unpaid care provided by family members and friends. If the rates don’t slow down, this disease’s cost in 2050 will be over $1.1 trillion. 

11. 36% of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s are older than 85, Alzheimer’s statistics report.

(Statista) (Healthline)

The biggest group, 47% of Alzheimer’s patients, are 75–84 years old. 17% make people between 65 and 74. That said, the mild dementia stage includes symptoms like short-term memory lapses, personality changes, misplacing things, or forgetfulness. 

Moderate dementia symptoms include poor judgment, confusion, and frustration, memory loss that reaches into the past, and requiring help with some tasks. 

Severe dementia symptoms involve the inability to communicate, requiring full-time assistance, inability to maintain bodily functions such as walking or swallowing.

12. According to Alzheimer’s statistics by country, Turkey has the highest number of Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths.

(World Life Expectancy)

With a rate of 57.64 deaths per 100,000 people per year, it is the leading country. Right behind Turkey is Lebanon (56.14), followed by Libya (53.21), Finland (50.84), Equatorial Guinea (50.09), Tunisia (49.00), and Yemen (46.37).  

In contrast, Singapore is the country with the lowest dementia and Alzheimer’s death rate, with only 0.38 deaths per 100,000 people per year, followed by Fiji (0.40), Kuwait (0.62), Bulgaria (1.32), Kyrgyzstan (1.41), and North Macedonia (1.90). 

13. Dementia patients were 2.6 times more likely to be hospitalized during the beginning of the pandemic.

(NY times)

Based on the research, people with dementia are two times more likely to get Covid19 (especially if they belong to the Black community). Moreover, they are 4.4 times more likely to die. The study analyzed health records of 61.9 million Americans age 18 and older, provided by health professionals from 360 hospitals.   

14. Interesting facts about Alzheimer’s suggest games like Tetris, and Candy Crush Saga can help in the early detection of cognitive impairment.

(Healthline)

Experts believe that they’ll be able to detect medical issues based on the information collected from our smartphones. How? With the help of the sensors built into mobile phones, scientists have acquired data about patients’ taps, swipes, and rotational gestures during the game, which revealed a lot. The results came from a small study, though.

In a similar fashion, VR is helpful with stroke survivors.

Alzheimer’s Statistics for the United States

What do the numbers tell us about the US? How many Americans have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

15. Close to 200,000 Americans younger than 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process, and people in their 40s and 50s can also suffer from it, as early-onset Alzheimer’s statistics report. 

Because healthcare professionals usually don’t look for Alzheimer’s in younger people, early signs of Alzheimer’s can be misattributed to stress. People with early-onset Alzheimer’s could be in any dementia stage.

16. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.

(Alzheimers.net) (Alzheimer’s Association)

Alzheimer’s is also the fifth leading cause of death among Americans older than 65. On that note, 61% of people over 70 diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia will likely die before they turn 80, compared to 30% of people with no Alzheimer’s.

17. Alzheimer’s statistics from 2020 show that about 5.8 million Americans over 65 had Alzheimer’s dementia.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

It’s estimated that by 2050 the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s and similar dementias will increase two-fold. 

18. 67% of Alzheimer’s disease patients in the US are women. 

(Weill Cornell Medicine)

Based on one study that compared women in their mid-life (45–64) and men in their mid-life, women had 30% more plaques related to Alzheimer’s, and 22% had lower brain energy levels. In addition, 11% showed more brain shrinkage. 

Scientists believe that menopause can be the primary predictor of Alzheimer’s changes in the brain.

19. Alzheimer’s stats indicate an American develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds.

(Alzheimers.net)

It’s estimated that by 2050, there will be over 7 million people in America older than 85 suffering from Alzheimer’s. In addition to this, more than half of people older than 65 will have Alzheimer’s disease.

20. There were 1,624 Alzheimer and dementia caregivers in California as of 2019.

(Statista) (Alzheimer’s Association)

Besides California, Texas (1,449), Florida (1,152), and New York (1,011) were the states that had the highest number of caregivers. Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures also show that 30% of caregivers in America are over 65. Women make two-thirds of the overall number.

21. Mississippi was the state with the highest Alzheimer’s death rates in 2019.

(CDC)

Mississippi had 48.8 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by Alabama with 44.6 deaths, Washington with 42.2, and Georgia with 41.9 deaths per 100,000 people. 

The same 2019 data shows us that Alzheimer’s death rate was lowest in New York (13.7), Maryland (13.8), Massachusetts (17.7), Connecticut (18.1), and Florida (18.3). 

22. Only 16% of the elderly receive regular cognitive assessments during usual check-ups.

(Being Patient) (Alzheimer’s Association)

Simply put, only 1 in 7 elderly patients gets regular cognitive assessments. Nevertheless, physicians provided feedback that such testing was declined by over 50% of their patients. A very unfortunate fact, as this illness kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

23. Alzheimer’s facts about mortality show life expectancy after Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis is between three and 11 years.

(Mayo Clinic)

The rate of progression varies widely. This is due to the slow and uncertain progression of the disease. Life expectancy is also affected by the degree of cognitive impairment at the diagnosis. Some people have even lived for 20 years after the diagnosis, dementia statistics state.

24. Over 53 million Americans are unpaid caregivers.

(AARP)

The number of adult caregivers in the US witnessed a growth of 21% in 2020. Boomers take the lead with the highest percentage of caregivers (39%), followed by Gen X (29%), Millennials (23%), Silent generation (7%), and Gen Z (6%). 

25. African Americans over 65 have the highest prevalence, Alzheimer’s disease statistics reveal.

 (Homewatch Caregivers)

African Americans make 13.8% of patients. Hispanics follow them with 12.2%, and non-Hispanic whites follow them with 10.3%. American Indian and Alaska Natives have a prevalence of 9.1%, while Asian and Pacific Islanders have a prevalence of 8.4%.

Generally, African Americans have a 20% prevalence regardless of age.

7 Statistics on Alzheimer’s and Cannabis

Can cannabis help treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

26. CBD can potentially reverse the aging of the brain.

(ScienceDaily)

Alzheimer’s disease research performed by scientists at the University of Bonn and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem demands attention. The study done on mice showed that  CBD can reverse the aging of the brain accelerated by Alzheimer’s disease. Old mice were brought into the state of two-month-old mice. Hopefully, this will inspire more research on CBD oil for Alzheimer’s for people.

27. CBD oil can act against oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in Alzheimer’s.

(Best Alzheimer’s Products) (NCBI)

Alzheimer’s disease facts and studies confirm our inner endocannabinoid system has a lot to with the disease. Hence, it can be affected via ECS. As CBD and THC are natural cannabinoids, they could help. CBD in particular is suggested by the studies.

28. Dronabinol could be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients with behavior problems.

(NCBI)

Dronabinol, aka Marinol and Syndros, is basically synthetically produced THC. A small human trial produced good enough Azheimer’s stats for encouraging further research of incorporating THC in Alzheimer’s treatment. 

Dronabinol is often mentioned in cancer and HIV statistics as it is normally used for reducing nausea and weight loss in patients.

29. CBD reduces brain inflammation and cell decline responsible for Alzheimer’s.

(HMHB)

Brain inflammation increases the decline of brain cells, which further speeds up Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have found that CBD could improve the part of the brain that is responsible for creating memories.

30. Fun facts about Alzheimer’s disease: people who smoked marijuana in the ‘60s and ‘70s are not getting Alzheimer’s at fast rates.

(CBD Central)

Alzheimer’s and marijuana link was discovered when a group of dementia-free seniors was surveyed about their lifestyles. They were entering their 60s and 70s with more than slow rates.

31. CBD for Alzheimer’s costs less than alternative medication.

(Dementia Central)

Some insurance policies cover the medication for early-stage Alzheimer’s. However, compared to alternative pharmaceuticals, CBD has fewer side effects and also costs less.

32. Alzheimer’s disease prevalence could be reduced by a long-term CBD treatment.

(Japa Organics)

In other words, CBD oil could help Alzheimer’s sufferers remember other people more easily. As described by the US National Library of Medicine study, mice which were given cannabidiol were able to recognize other mice better than those who had no treatment. Still, more research is needed to understand how CBD oil works for Alzheimer’s patients.

A Note to Remember

These Alzheimer’s statistics and facts only show how many unknowns and uncertainties this complicated disease carries. It’s certain that it worsens as time passes, but some treatments can delay the early symptoms. In the meantime, one should be careful about coronavirus due to easy contagion rates.

Both CBD and THC in some form have excellent potential. Hopefully, they will be recognized enough for more serious research. In that way, it would be clear what could be done to prevent the disease, or even reverse the process!

FAQs

What causes Alzheimer's?

Even though we still don’t know the exact single cause, scientists believe that Alzheimer’s cause is a combination of lifestyle, genetic, and environmental influences on the brain over time. Furthermore, scientists focus their work on plaques and tangles, the two proteins that play an important role in understanding the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

On top of that, many risk factors, like age, gender, or head trauma, can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 

 

How many people die a year from Alzheimer's?

There were 121,499 deaths from Alzheimer’s disease in 2019, based on the most recent available data. Not only is Alzheimer’s disease the sixth leading cause of death among Americans, but it’s also the fifth leading cause of death among Americans over 65. 

If we compare the death rates from 2000 and 2019, we’ll notice a significant increase of 145.2% among patients who died from Alzheimer’s disease.  

 

What percentage of the population has Alzheimer's?

10% of Americans over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease, in addition to 32% of Americans over 85. Out of 5.8 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease, 80% of the patients are older than 75. 

When it comes to the global population, it’s believed that every 3.2 seconds, someone develops dementia. In 2020 there were 50 million people who had dementia, out of which 60%–70% of patients were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

How likely is it to inherit Alzheimer's?

If a parent carries a genetic mutation, there are 50% chances that the child will inherit the same mutation. Hence, if the child does inherit the mentioned mutation, there is a high chance that it will develop an early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. 

Apart from that, if a child has Down syndrome, it can also pose a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease with time. 

Why is Alzheimer's becoming more common?

Due to the increase in the population and the overall life expectancy, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are becoming more common among older people. For example, thanks to advanced medical care and environmental conditions, many Americans are expected to live until 80 and even 90

Furthermore, people over 65 will make 19% of the US population by 2050. In other words, there will be 4.8 million older adults with a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia.

What population is most affected by Alzheimer's?

People over 75 are most affected by this disease. In fact, 80% of people over 75 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia, followed by 10% of people over 65. 

When it comes to race, the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s is noted in African Americans that make 20% of the affected population.

Alzheimer’s statistics also show us that women are more likely to suffer from this disease. For example, in America, 67% of Alzheimer’s disease patients are women. 

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