The 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report was released March 11 and contains the most up-to-date data on Alzheimer’s prevalence and mortality, caregiving and the costs of health care for people living with the disease. Below are key takeaways from the report, including data for Washington State and Idaho. This year’s special report, “On the Front Lines: Primary Care Physicians and Alzheimer’s Care in America,” examines the experience of primary care physicians in providing dementia care and makes recommendations to ensure their future readiness for meeting the growing demand for services. Download the full report in PDF.
Key takeaways from the report
A record number of Americans are living with the disease.
There are 5.8 million people age 65+ living with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. today. By 2050, that number is expected to nearly triple to 13.8 million.
In Washington State, there are 120,000 people age 65+ living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to reach 140,000 in the next five years.
In Idaho, there are 27,000 people age 65+ living with Alzheimer’s, a number that expected to reach 33,000 by 2025.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
It is the fifth-leading cause of death for all people over the age of 65 and for women of all ages. Between the years 2000 and 2018, deaths from Alzheimer’s increased by 146%. As the U.S. population ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death.
Alzheimer’s continues to be the third-leading cause of death in Washington State. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 3,725 deaths from Alzheimer’s disease.
In Idaho, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death with 666 deaths from Alzheimer’s in 2018. This is a 154.2% increase since the year 2000.
In 2019, more than 16 million Americans provided 18.6 billion hours of unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, valued at nearly $244 billion.
In Washington State, there were 353,000 caregivers providing 402 million hours of unpaid care in 2019, a value of nearly $5.27 billion.
In Idaho last year, there were 87,000 caregivers providing 99 million hours of unpaid care, a value of nearly $1.3 million.
For the fourth consecutive year, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation more than a quarter trillion dollars ($305 billion). By 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion.
Primary care physicians (PCPs) say they are on the front lines for providing dementia care and the vast majority expect the number of people they see with dementia to increase over the next five years.
- 82 percent of PCPs say they are on the front lines of providing dementia care.
- Nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) of primary care physicians expect to see more people living with dementia during the next five years.
- The majority of PCPs (53 percent) say they are answering questions related to Alzheimer’s or other dementias every few days or more. Ninety-two percent believe patients and caregivers expect them to know the latest thinking and best practices around dementia care.
- Half of PCPs surveyed say the medical profession is not prepared to meet rising demands in Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
Nearly all primary care physicians believe it is important to stay current on dementia care advances, but cite various challenges.
- Sixty-three percent feel they don’t have enough time to keep up with all of the new developments.
- Fifty-one percent feel there are not enough options for continuing education and training.
- Overall, 53 percent say the extent to which they are keeping up with the new developments in dementia care is “only a little” or “not at all.”
To read the full report and view a breakdown of state-by-state data, visit alz.org/facts.
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