The total estimated worldwide costs of dementia are $604 billion in 2010, according to the newly released World Alzheimer Report 2010: The Global Economic Impact of Dementia from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), a London-based, nonprofit, international federation of 73 national Alzheimer organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association (U.S.).
Released on World Alzheimer’s Day, Sept. 21, the report found that:
• Dementia care costs around 1 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
• If dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy (ranking between Turkey and Indonesia).
• If dementia care was a company, it would be the world’s largest by annual revenue, exceeding Wal-Mart ($414 billion) and Exxon Mobil ($311 billion).
• By 2030, worldwide societal costs will increase by 85% (a very conservative estimate considering only increases in the number of people with dementia).
• Worldwide, the costs of dementia are set to soar.
• Costs in low- and middle-income countries are likely to rise much faster than in high income countries, because, with economic development, costs will increase towards levels seen in high income countries, and because increases in numbers of people with dementia will be much sharper in those regions.
In the Report, costs were attributed to the direct costs of medical care (the costs of treating dementia and other conditions in primary and secondary care), direct costs of social care (provided in residential care settings and by community care professionals), and informal care (unpaid care provided by family caregivers and others).
The Alzheimer's Association is working to enact critical legislation to address these issues. The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (S.3036/H.R.4689) would create a National Alzheimer’s Project Office and an inter-agency Advisory Council responsible for developing a national plan to overcome the Alzheimer crisis. This new office would provide strategic planning and coordination for the fight against Alzheimer’s across the federal government as a whole, touching on issues from research to care to support, at no additional cost to the government. (Note: see attached fact sheet.)
This summer, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s research community have been working – and cycling – together to do just that. The Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride was originally conceived by Alzheimer researcher Bruce Lamb, PhD, of the Department of Neurosciences at the Lerner Research Institutes of the Cleveland Clinic and the Departments of Neurosciences and Genetics at Case Western Reserve University, who shared the idea with the Alzheimer’s Association and then enlisted the participation of researchers and scientists from across the country.
The Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride engaged more than 55 researchers and 100,000 Americans to urge Congress to make Alzheimer’s a national priority. Demonstrating both the urgency of the issue and the dedication of the research community, these researchers spent 67 days this summer cycling relay-style throughout the United States to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to the recommendation for countries to develop national Alzheimer’s plans, the 2010 World Alzheimer Report contains six further recommendations, which call on governments to increase dementia research funding, develop policies and plans for long-term care, and ensure access to cost-effective and appropriate healthcare services. (Note: see attached fact sheet.)
U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
In the U.S., according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures 2010, there are as many as 5.3 million Americans living with the disease and every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. In 2010, there will be a half million new cases of Alzheimer’s. By 2050, there will be nearly a million new cases of Alzheimer’s every year.
Alzheimer’s was the seventh leading cause of death in the country in 2006, the latest year for which final death statistics are available. It was the fifth leading cause of death among individuals aged 65 and older. From 2000-2006 death rates have declined for most major diseases – heart disease (-11.1 percent), breast cancer (-2.6 percent), prostate cancer (-8.7 percent), stroke (-18.2 percent) and HIV/AIDS (-16.3) while Alzheimer’s disease deaths rose 46.1 percent.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that total U.S. payments for health and long-term care services for people with these conditions will amount to $172 billion from all sources in 2010. Nearly 11 million U.S. family members and other unpaid caregivers provided 12.5 billion hours of care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, valued at $144 billion.
2010 World Alzheimer Report
The 2010 World Alzheimer Report is a culmination of the most comprehensive, current data on the prevalence of dementia and the costs associated with care for people affected in different world regions. Methodology used to prepare the 2010 World Alzheimer’s Report is explained in the full printed report and can be found online at www.alz.co.uk/research/worldreport/