McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Community News Network

April 4, 2013

Dementia care at $109 billion more expensive than heart disease

SAN FRANCISCO — The cost of caring for dementia patients has reached $109 billion annually, exceeding that for heart disease and cancer, and will double by the time the youngest Baby Boomers reach their 70's, according to a study.

Dementia, most commonly taking the form of Alzheimer's, results in a loss of brain function affecting memory, thinking, language, judgment and behavior. More than 5 million Americans have the Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and that number will rise 40 percent by 2025. Dementia represents a substantial financial burden on society, researchers said in the study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The need for treatments for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders is now urgent, researchers said. To speed along research, President Barack Obama announced earlier this week a campaign called the BRAIN Initiative, which will spend $100 million beginning in 2014 to map the complex interactions between brain cells and neurological circuits.

"We need more research into interventions to delay or halt the onset of dementia, right now we don't really have anything at all," said Michael Hurd, an author of the study and director of Rand Corp.'s Center of the Study of Aging, in an interview. "The problem is going to grow rapidly."

When support from family and friends is given a cost value, the yearly expense of dementia care and treatment doubled to $215 billion in 2010, the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, said. That figure will jump to $511 billion by 2040, as the generation born between 1946 and 1964 range become elderly, according to the study.

By comparison, the direct cost of treating heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, was $102 billion in 2010, while cancer cost $77 billion, according to the paper.

The study, conducted by researchers from Rand Corp. and the University of Michigan, estimates 15 percent of people older than 70 have dementia, based on their interviews with 856 out of almost 11,000 participants in the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. They also collected self-reported out-of- pocket costs, nursing home spending, Medicare claims data and estimates of hours spent by unpaid volunteers. The annual cost per person was estimated to be $56,290.

The NIH report is a prominent effort from a non-advocacy group to determine the financial toll of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association has estimated higher prevalence and a cost of $172 billion in 2010, based on different methodologies.

Little is known about the causes of many brain disorders, including Alzheimer's, a disease expected to affect 65.7 million people by 2030. There have been 101 unsuccessful attempts to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's disease since 1998, including recent setbacks by Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly & Co., according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In January 2011, Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act into law. Its goal is to improve the ability of the federal government to track costs to Medicare, Medicaid and individuals that result from dementia.

The study "heightens the awareness of the particular problem of Alzheimer's disease that somehow as a nation we're going to have to accommodate for," said Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute of Aging in Bethesda, Md., the arm of NIH that directs Alzheimer's research, in an interview. "Not just the cost for professionals, but the enormously important hours spent by volunteers out of love, becomes more and more of a challenge when we have fewer and fewer people able to take on that role."

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.