Alzheimer’s health care and caregiver cost impact far greater than meets the eye
November 20, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) Recent research data developed by IHS Markit on behalf of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) projects the cumulative total cost of Alzheimer’s disease between 2017 and 2030 will be $7.7 trillion - $3.2 trillion in health care costs and $4.5 trillion in the value of unpaid caregiving. Today, Alzheimer’s disease affects more than five million Americans, and one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Further, an increasing number of Americans under the age of 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, another major indication that medical research and advances are critically needed to address this debilitating chronic condition.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, 90 percent of what we know today about Alzheimer's has been discovered in the last 20 years. Supporting efforts to better detect, treat and prevent the onset of this costly chronic disease is an important step towards saving lives and health care dollars, and time is of the essence for identifying areas of opportunity for change. The IHS/PFCD data assert that within just five years of a breakthrough treatment, 2.6 million people could be spared from developing Alzheimer’s disease and $650 billion could be saved on health care costs and unpaid caregiving.
Even as National Family Caregivers Month winds down, it is imperative to recognize the impact Alzheimer’s disease has on caregivers year-round. It is estimated that more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. While total costs for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s are increasing, so is reliance on family caregivers too often at a cost to their own health and wellness.
“The impact of Alzheimer’s disease spans far beyond the person with the diagnosis. Although progress has been made in learning about this disease, there is much more work to be done to better prevent, detect, and treat Alzheimer’s, and provide support for caregivers,” encouraged PFCD Chairman Ken Thorpe. “As work is done in both the public and private sectors to address the human and economic cost drivers in our health care system, Alzheimer’s disease must be a top priority.”
Data on the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in all 50 states will be available soon. For more information on the national cost impact of Alzheimer’s and data on chronic disease and mental health please visit: https://www.fightchronicdisease.org/pfcd-in-the-states.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease.