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Deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease — United States, 1999–2014
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    28542120
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5657871
  • Description:
    Alzheimer's disease (Alzheimer's), an ultimately fatal form of dementia, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 3.6% of all deaths in 2014 (1,2). Alzheimer's deaths can be an indicator of paid and unpaid caregiver burden because nearly everyone in the final stages of Alzheimer's needs constant care, regardless of the setting, as the result of functional and cognitive declines (2). To examine deaths with Alzheimer's as the underlying cause, state-level and county-level death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System for the period 1999-2014 were analyzed. A total of 93,541 Alzheimer's deaths occurred in the United States in 2014 at an age-adjusted (to the 2000 standard population) rate of 25.4 deaths per 100,000 population, a 54.5% increase compared with the 1999 rate of 16.5 deaths per 100,000. Most deaths occurred in a nursing home or long-term care facility. The percentage of Alzheimer's decedents who died in a medical facility (e.g., hospital) declined from 14.7% in 1999 to 6.6% in 2014, whereas the percentage who died at home increased from 13.9% in 1999 to 24.9% in 2014. Significant increases in Alzheimer's deaths coupled with an increase in the number of persons with Alzheimer's dying at home have likely added to the burden on family members or other unpaid caregivers. Caregivers might benefit from interventions such as education, respite care, and case management that can lessen the potential burden of caregiving and can improve the care received by persons with Alzheimer's.

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