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Global Alzheimer’s Epidemic

A new study reports more than 26 million people worldwide were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006. Even more astounding is the likelihood that the more than 106 million individuals will suffer from Alzheimer’s by 2050.

The report by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is found in the journal, Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Study authors state that by 2050, 43 percent of those with Alzheimer’s disease will need high-level care, equivalent to that of a nursing home.

“We face a looming global epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease as the world’s population ages,” said the study’s lead author, Ron Brookmeyer, PhD, professor in Biostatistics and chair of the Master of Public Health Program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“By 2050, 1 in 85 persons worldwide will have Alzheimer’s disease. However, if we can make even modest advances in preventing Alzheimer’s disease or delay its progression, we could have a huge global public health impact.”

According to Brookmeyer and his co-authors, interventions that could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by as little as one year would reduce prevalence of the disease by 12 million fewer cases in 2050.

A similar delay in both the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease would result in a smaller overall reduction of 9.2 million cases by 2050, because slower disease progression would mean more people surviving with early-stage disease symptoms.

However, nearly all of that decline would be attributable to decreases in those needing costly late-stage disease treatment in 2050.

The largest increase in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s will occur in Asia, where 48 percent of the world’s Alzheimer’s cases currently reside. The number of Alzheimer’s cases is expected to grow in Asia from 12.65 million in 2006 to 62.85 million in 2050; at that time, 59 percent of the world’s Alzheimer’s cases will live in Asia.

To forecast the worldwide prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, the researcher created a multi-state mathematical computer model using United Nations population projections and other data on the incidence and mortality of Alzheimer’s.

Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Global Alzheimer’s Epidemic

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Global Alzheimer’s Epidemic. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/06/11/global-alzheimers-epidemic/885.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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