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Dementia costs more than heart disease, and cancer. And it will balloon.

Human brainDementia Care Cost Is Projected to Double by 2040 (The New York Times):

“The most rigorous study to date of how much it costs to care for Americans with dementia found that the financial burden is at least as high as that of heart disease or cancer, and is probably higher. And both the costs and the number of people with dementia will more than double within 30 years, skyrocketing at a rate that rarely occurs with a chronic disease…The RAND results show that nearly 15 percent of people aged 71 or older, about 3.8 million people, have dementia. By 2040, the authors said, that number will balloon to 9.1 million people…The study found that direct health care expenses for dementia, including nursing home care, were $109 billion in 2010. For heart disease, those costs totaled $102 billion; for cancer, $77 billion.”

Study: Monetary Costs of Dementia in the United States (NEJM)

  • BACKGROUND: Dementia affects a large and growing number of older adults in the United States. The monetary costs attributable to dementia are likely to be similarly large and to continue to increase.
  • RESULTS: The estimated prevalence of dementia among persons older than 70 years of age in the United States in 2010 was 14.7%. The yearly monetary cost per person that was attributable to dementia was either $56,290 or $41,689, depending on the method used to value informal care. These individual costs suggest that the total monetary cost of dementia in 2010 was between $157 billion and $215 billion. Medicare paid approximately $11 billion of this cost.

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