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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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