Home Health Has dementia in the United States plateaued? Mysterious CDC data casts doubt on predictions of spiraling diagnoses

Has dementia in the United States plateaued? Mysterious CDC data casts doubt on predictions of spiraling diagnoses

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 Has dementia in the United States plateaued? Mysterious CDC data casts doubt on predictions of spiraling diagnoses

Dementia rates in the United States appear to have plateaued, calling into question earlier predictions of skyrocketing diagnoses in the years to come.

The CDC’s latest National Health Interview Survey reported that four percent of American seniors over age 65 have dementia, a figure that is virtually unchanged since the last survey in 2019.

The figure is lower than the rates of older people suffering from other chronic diseases, such as heart disease, which is suffered by 14 percent of people aged 65 to 74, and cancer, which is prevalent during the lifetime of 17 percent of people. age group.

The data suggests that earlier dire predictions that diagnoses will reach 14 million by 2060, driven in part by America’s growing aging population, may be an overestimate.

The pie chart above was created from data from Rajan et al. Percentages do not add up to 100 due to rounding.

The pie chart above was created from data from Rajan et al. Percentages do not add up to 100 due to rounding.

He survey It covered more than 9,200 people aged 65 and older, asking them by phone or in person if they had ever been diagnosed with dementia, including the most common type, Alzheimer’s disease.

CDC researchers interviewed people from all walks of life, taking into account race, education level, family income as a percentage of the federal poverty level, where they lived, and whether they were veterans.

Overall, the researchers found no statistically significant differences in dementia rates between 2019 and 2022.

The diagnoses have steadily increased In the last decade and a half, from 4.7 million older people with the disease in 2010 to 5.8 million in 2020, according to a 2020 report from the Alzheimer’s Association.

However, other studies seem to suggest something different.

A study published in the journal Neurology It included data from nearly 50,000 participants who were followed for 27 years between 1994 and 2000.

They found a The overall risk of dementia has decreased by 13 percent, on average, since 1998.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Population Research reported that of the total population of older people, a smaller percentage is diagnosed with dementia each year.

Improvements in healthcare, better management of lifestyle risk factors and increased awareness may contribute to this decline.

Increasing numbers of people adopting healthy lifestyles, particularly heart-healthy behaviors, could help reduce rates.

Dr Keith Vossel, director of the Alzheimer’s disease program in the department of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, told DailyMail.com: “Dementia rates are plateauing in the US, probably due to better attention to modifiable risk factors such as high blood pressure and overall fitness.” .

“Dementia rates continue to rise in developing countries.”

However, other researchers told DailyMail.com that some of the data showing a plateau (for example, the new CDC figures) is based on unreliable studies.

Dr Elizabeth Landsverk, a New York-based geriatrician, told DailyMail.com that the survey left out some crucial questions, possibly excluding a large proportion of people.

She said: ‘They are talking about non-institutionalised older adults with a diagnosis of dementia. Many people with this condition receive full-time care and would not participate in the survey.

Other experts have highlighted that the pandemic, which took place between the two surveys, may have meant that fewer people were able to access screening and get a diagnosis.

Dr. Landsverk said: ‘T“There are several obstacles to overcome to say that someone has the diagnosis.”

The CDC’s data collection may also have been unreliable because it relied on patients’ responses, and those with dementia may have difficulty answering the questions accurately.

An estimated seven million Americans suffer from dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form.

The degenerative condition is associated with aging and causes parts of the brain involved in memory consolidation and formation to atrophy.

Concerns about the rise in dementia cases have focused on the rise of the aging population in the United States, where the number of Americans over 65 has increased more than 10-fold over the last century, reaching 55.8 million.


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The number is expected to reach 82 million by 2050, with the demographic share of the total population growing from 17 percent to 23 percent.

Experts have predicted that an aging population, along with unhealthy lifestyle habits, will likely lead to rising dementia rates in the coming decades.

Covid itself, which has been shown to damage blood vessels and cause lifelong vascular problems, is also likely to lead to more cases of dementia.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and few treatments available. But there is hope for more.

The FDA’s independent advisory committee voted unanimously this week to recommend approval of Eli Lilly’s drug donanemab.

The monoclonal antibody slowed cognitive decline in patients facing the early stages of the disease. It carries the risk of inflammation and bleeding in the brain, but the committee ruled that the consequences of Alzheimer’s are so dire that any benefit is worth it.

The drug is based on a long-held belief that Alzheimer’s originates from dysfunctional cellular activity in the brain that causes the buildup of a protein called beta amyloid. When those proteins accumulate, they form clumps that trigger a domino effect that results in the death of brain cells.

Another drug was recently approved to combat amyloid. Leqembi was approved last year and, while it also showed a modest benefit, it was considered to have benefits that outweighed the risk of brain bleeds.

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