Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics and Prevalence

By American Geriatrics Society (AGS)

Although AD isn’t the most deadly disease (heart disease claims that dubious distinction), it is one of the more expensive ones, mainly because people live with it for so long and require so much supervision and care.

AD puts a huge drain on healthcare resources, and the problem is only getting bigger. In 1900, only 3 million Americans were ages 65 and older; currently, the United States has approximately 34 million senior citizens who make up 13 percent of the population.

By 2040, the year when the last of the baby boomers hits age 65, the number of new cases of AD is expected to more than double, from an average of 377,000 new cases a year now to more than 959,000 new cases annually by 2040. By the year 2050, experts estimate that about 50 million older Americans will comprise 18 percent of the population, with approximately 16 million cases of AD, more than three times the current 5 million cases.

Take a look at these interesting statistics regarding AD:

  • Average age at onset: 72.8 years
  • Average length of time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis: 2.8 years
  • Average length of survival following diagnosis at age 65: 8.3 years
  • Average length of survival following diagnosis at age 90: 3.4 years
  • Number of deaths from AD in 2013: 84,767
  • Alzheimer’s rank among causes of death in U.S.: 6
  • Alzheimer’s relative cost: third most expensive disease
  • Average cost of AD to the U.S. economy annually: $100 billion
  • Annual cost of lost productivity due to work disruptions related to caregiving: $26 billion
  • Annual cost of caregiver absenteeism to businesses: $7.89 billion
  • Average annual cost of caregiving per family: $27,200
  • Average lifetime caregiving cost per AD patient: $174,000
  • Average length of nursing home stay for AD patients: 2.5 years
  • Average cost of nursing home care for AD patients: $139,000
  • In 2014, family and friends of AD and other dementia patients provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care, values at $217.7 billion.