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20 Informative Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics

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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness that causes the brain to shrink and the neurons to atrophy over time. The disease starts with memory loss and cognitive impairment. Eventually, it leads to a loss of physical control and the inability to carry out simple tasks independently like walking, talking, and swallowing.

Despite the prevalence of this disease worldwide, there’s still no definitive cure and treatment for it. Researchers also admit that there are still many aspects of Alzheimer’s disease that remain hidden.

The Alzheimer’s disease statistics in this article display key figures that show how far the medical world has come in understanding the disease. They will also help us realize how severe and debilitating Alzheimer’s disease can be for the patients.

Quick Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease (Editor’s Choice)

  • More than 6 milion Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is now the seventh-leading cause of death in the US.
  • Alzheimer’s disease costs the US hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
  • Women and minorities face more significant risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Researchers believe that COVID-19 potentially raised the risk of Alzheimer’s disease deaths in the US.
  • People who develop Alzheimer’s disease live four to eight years after the diagnosis.
  • Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60% to 70% of dementia cases.
  • One in three senior Americans dies of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

1. The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to reach more than twice the current count in less than 40 years.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

According to the most recent available data, approximately 6.2 million people aged 65 and above currently have Alzheimer’s disease. As the population of Americans in this age group increases, researchers expect the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease to increase as well. Unless scientists and researchers develop a cure or treatment to stop or slow down its development, approximately 13.8 million people are expected to have Alzheimer’s disease by 2060.

This inference shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering age is the most significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For instance, about 5.3% of people aged 65 to 74 have Alzheimer’s disease. The percentage jumps to 34.6% for people aged 85 and older.

2. Alzheimer’s disease is now the seventh-leading cause of death in the US.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

According to the latest statistics on Alzheimer’s disease, the official death toll from the disease reached 121,499 deaths in a single year. This count is a 145% increase from the mortality count from 19 years prior. Based on these figures, the US now marks Alzheimer’s disease as the seventh-leading cause of death in the country, moving from sixth place as COVID-19 got in the top ten causes of death. It remains the fifth-leading cause for Americans aged 65 and above.

3. Alzheimer’s disease costs the US hundreds of billions of dollars every year.


Alzheimer’s disease statistics show the substantial toll the disease takes on the entire country. The US spent approximately $239 billion caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease in the previous year. This amount is projected to more than triple by 2050, reaching about $798 billion. The problem is that not everyone who has Alzheimer’s disease has health coverage. The out-of-pocket costs of patients and their families have reached about $66 billion between 2011 and 2020.

4. Women and minorities face more significant risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

(US Against Alzheimer’s)

The latest statistics on Alzheimer’s disease in the US show that women and minorities have a higher prevalence than other groups.

Approximately 65% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease are women. That means that out of the 6.2 million patients aged 65 years and above, about 3.8 million are female.

Things don’t bode well for Black and Latin Americans, either: About 18.6% of Black people and 14% of Latinos aged 65 years and older have Alzheimer’s disease. This ratio is significantly higher than it is for white Americans older than 65, of whom only 10% have Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Alzheimer’s disease stats show that two-thirds of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease die in nursing homes.


Approximately two-thirds of Alzheimer’s disease patients die in nursing homes. This is leaps and bounds above the 20% of cancer patients dying in nursing homes, for example.

Family members of Alzheimer’s disease patients often don’t have the time and resources needed to take adequate care of their loved ones, so they have to resort to leaving them in care homes.

6. Researchers believe that the COVID-19 pandemic heightened Alzheimer’s disease deaths in the US.

(Washington Post)

Aside from the expected rise in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, stats also show a significant increase in the number of Alzheimer’s-related deaths following the pandemic’s height. In 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 42,000 – or 16% – more deaths than were expected for that year.

Researchers fear the interrupted routines, diminished social interactions, and divided families may have a far more deadly impact later on.

7. According to Alzheimer’s disease statistics, only 10% of cases are people below 65 years old.


Most people associate Alzheimer’s disease with people aged 65 and above, and the majority of cases are above that age threshold. Nonetheless, early-onset still happens to senior adults who are not yet over it. In fact, about 10% of the people who show symptoms of the disease are below 65 years old.

8. Genes and Alzheimer’s disease have a strong correlation.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

Facts on Alzheimer’s disease show that genetics play an important role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have categorized the genes that correlate to it into two categories: Risk genes and deterministic genes.

Risk genes increase the likelihood of developing the disease but don’t guarantee it. Approximately 40% to 65% of Alzheimer’s disease patients have risk genes.

Deterministic genes, which are extremely rare (just 1% of cases), guarantee the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

9. People who develop Alzheimer’s disease live an average of four to eight years after getting a diagnosis.


One of the important facts about Alzheimer’s disease that families and carers need to know is the expected lifespan of a person suffering from it. Data suggests that, on average, Alzheimer’s disease patients have only four to eight years to live once diagnosed. This information helps families and carers understand how severe and devastating the disease is and that care planning is necessary, especially since there’s still no treatment for Alzheimer’s.

10. Families and friends look after the majority of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

America’s trends in Alzheimer’s disease show that most of the help patients receive comes from families and unpaid caregivers. These carers and families account for 83% of the help older adults receive, of which half are caring for patients who have Alzheimer’s or some other dementia. Further, data shows that 66% of these caregivers live with the patients and that the unpaid hours of caregiving are estimated to reach approximately $257 billion.

11. One in three senior Americans dies of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

(Alzheimer’s Association)

One of the most disheartening facts about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is the mortality rate this kind of illness causes among seniors. Records show that one in three seniors die because of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Interesting Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease

12. Flu vaccines may help reduce a person’s risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease.

(University of Texas)

An interesting study from one university shows a possible relationship between flu vaccination and Alzheimer’s disease. This latest study shows that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in people who received at least one flu vaccine was 17% lower.

One of the researchers theorizes that proteins in the flu vaccine somehow train the body’s immune system to protect itself from the agents causing Alzheimer’s disease.

13. One in three older Americans fear acquiring Alzheimer’s disease.

(US Against Alzheimer’s)

Alzheimer’s disease stats on older Americans’ feelings and thoughts about Alzheimer’s disease show interesting findings. Apparently, retirees fear Alzheimer’s disease more than any other illnesses and diseases. About 32% of retired Americans indicated Alzheimer’s disease as the illness they feared the most, which is 13 points higher than COVID-19 and 11 points higher than cancer.

14. The development of Alzheimer’s disease starts several years before the first symptoms appear.


There are several CDC Alzheimer’s disease statistics that many people don’t know. One of these facts is how early the onset of the disease actually happens. Unbeknownst to many, Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t usually begin at 65 when symptoms start to appear. The condition starts to develop several years before the first symptom becomes evident enough for a clinical diagnosis.

15. Facts about Alzheimer’s disease suggest that social isolation and depression are major risk factors for the illness for older adults.

(Help Guide)

Researchers assume that Alzheimer’s disease has several lifestyle risk factors. Some of the most dominant factors are social isolation and depression. According to the CDC, these factors increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 50%.

16. Gender seems to be a risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease.

(Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy)

One of the most known Alzheimer’s disease facts is that age and genes play a big role in the development of this disease, but clinical trials shouldn’t be limited to these two aspects. Data suggests that gender also plays a vital factor in the development of the disease. According to statistics, the prevalence of the disease for women is at 7.1% and only 3.3% for men, but this is rarely adequately reflected in clinical trials looking for treatments or risk factors.

Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics Worldwide

17. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60% to 70% of dementia cases.


Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia – a chronic and progressive deterioration of cognitive function. The worldwide stats on Alzheimer’s disease show that the disease accounts for 60% to 70% of people with dementia.

Currently, no known cures or treatments can reverse or stop the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The only treatments available work to control the symptoms, with limited results.

18. According to world Alzheimer’s disease statistics, approximately 50 million people have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Alzheimer’s disease is a global health problem with no known cure or treatment. Currently, over 50 million people suffer from this disease, and it will only get worse in the coming years. Researchers predict that if the medical research field doesn’t find a cure, the figure will increase to 152 million by 2050.

This calculation is alarming because Alzheimer’s disease not only causes a significant number of deaths but produces substantial economic losses worldwide. Recent estimates show that Alzheimer’s care costs reached $1 trillion worldwide in just one year.

19. The statistics on Alzheimer’s disease worldwide show that the onset of the disease can be potentially reduced or delayed by 40% through risk-factor modification.

(The Lancet)

The latest research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia presents 12 modifiable risk factors that can help prevent or delay the development of the disease.

Initially, researchers identified nine modifiable risk factors: Lower level of education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and low social contact. Recently, they’ve added excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution as risk factors.

Studies believe these 12 factors account for 40% of the cases worldwide. Theoretically, modifying these risk factors can help prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

20. Statistics about Alzheimer’s disease in the UK show one person will develop the disease every three minutes.

(Alzheimer’s Society)

Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a public health concern limited to the US. According to statistics, about 850,000 people in the UK are suffering from the disease. Researchers believe this figure will increase to 1.6 million by 2040, almost double the current figure. This means that one person will get Alzheimer’s disease every three minutes.


Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and debilitating disease that renders patients incapable of performing the simplest tasks. What makes it worse is that there is no cure or treatment for it.

This makes the latest Alzheimer’s disease global facts on its prevalence even more daunting. Researchers project that in less than 30 years, the number of people who have Alzheimer’s disease could triple. Despite these facts, Alzheimer’s disease still doesn’t receive the same attention as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Clearly, the medical field needs to put more effort and conduct more studies to identify critical factors that cause the disease. Because if we can’t find a cure for it, our best option to curtail its prevalence is prevention.


What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by abnormal protein build-up in and around brain cells. These proteins form plaques around the brain and tangles within the brain cells. As the proteins build up, the brain activity level begins to decline. This decreased activity causes the brain to shrink and the brain cells to atrophy. Usually, the area of the brain responsible for memories is the first part to exhibit the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Although scientists still don’t know why and how the protein build-up starts, the whole medical field believes this process begins at least a decade before a patient starts showing symptoms.

How many people are affected by Alzheimer’s?

It’s difficult to know for sure the number of patients who have Alzheimer’s disease worldwide since many of the cases are undiagnosed. However, the World Health Organization believes that around 50 million people have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Without a cure, treatment, or preventive measures, this figure could balloon and reach over 150 million in less than 30 years.

How many Americans have Alzheimer’s?

Approximately 6.2 million people in the US have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia today. If scientists can’t find any cure or treatment, researchers expect this number to grow and reach 13.8 million by 2060. This is why scientists are racing to understand the disease and find its cause. Once researchers identify the risk factors, people can practice preventive measures.

What is expected to happen to the number of Alzheimer’s patients in the US in the near future?

Researchers expect the number of Alzheimer’s patients in the US to increase by 122% in less than 40 years to reach 13.8 million. This projected number doesn’t take into account possible developments in the medical field.

If scientists come up with treatments or identify risk factors, there’s still a possibility of restricting the increase in the number of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Which group is more affected by Alzheimer’s disease?

Scientists admit that there’s still so much we don’t understand about Alzheimer’s disease. Some researchers believe we are still groping in the dark and that its cause is still largely unknown. Scientists can’t say for sure which individuals are more susceptible to the disease.

However, the latest Alzheimer’s disease statistics from the CDC seem to show vulnerability for different groups of people. Black people have the highest prevalence among other groups in the US at 13.8%, whereas non-Hispanic whites only have a 10.3% prevalence. These figures suggest that some groups are more affected by the disease than others, particularly those which are underprivileged.


  1. Alzheimer’s Association
  2. Alzheimer’s Association
  3. Alzheimer’s Association
  4. Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy
  5. Alzheimer’s Society
  6. CDC
  7. FDA
  8. Help Guide
  9. NIH
  10. Statista
  11. Statista
  12. University of Texas
  13. US Against Alzheimer’s
  14. The Lancet
  15. Washington Post
  16. WHO