Is dementia falling?
The New York Times recently reported that, despite America’s ageing, heavier population, an important national survey has found that the dementia rate is declining.
Apparently, the rates for Americans 65 and older fell to 8.8% (from 11.6%) in the last 12 years. The recent study, which is ongoing, involved 21,000 people age 65 and older, across race, education and income levels.
However, Dr. Dennis Evans of the Rush University Medical Centre (in Chicago) urged caution in concluding that Dementia rates are declining, saying that these studies are difficult to do and the decision of whether a person has Dementia is difficult to make.
This national study, though hopeful, is only one step on a long path. Dementia is the most expensive disease in the U.S., with patient care costing more than $200 billion annually. Also, as Americans live longer, the disease may simply surface at older ages.
Researchers continue to seek the causes for it, and no preventive care is available yet, either.
This ad ran in the Richmond News on December 2, 2016.