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Alzheimer's numbers to triple by 2050, report says


By Robert Bazell, Chief Science and Health Correspondent

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will triple in the next 40 years, which means that 13.8 million will have the mind-robbing disease by 2050, researchers projected Wednesday.

Previous estimates of what many call “the tsunami of Alzheimer’s” hitting our society as the population ages have come up with similar numbers. This latest projection is notable because it is based on an analysis of more than 10,000 people 65 and older enrolled in the Chicago Health and Aging Project since 1993.

Researchers interview the volunteers every three years to monitor the number who develop Alzheimer’s as they grow older. Census data project that as the baby boom generation ages, the number of Americans ages 65 to 84 will approximately double by 2050. At the same time, the number of those 85 and older will increase almost four-fold to a total of nearly 14 million. The study estimates that 36.6 per cent of that population will suffer Alzheimer’s.

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