The number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States is growing rapidly. So, too, are the number of myths surrounding the disease and other forms of dementia. Let’s begin by looking at what we do know about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s before investigating some of the more common myths.
Approximately 5.5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Of these, some 5.3 million are 65 years of age or older. In addition:
- One in 10 people 65 and over has Alzheimer’s disease
- Nearly two out of three Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women
- African-Americans are approximately twice as likely as older Caucasians to have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older Caucasians
- As the population grows older, the number of new cases of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to soar
- Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds. By 2050, this figure is likely to increase to one new case every 33 seconds
Now let’s look at some of the most common myths surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.