States Where Alzheimer’s Causes the Most Deaths

November 13, 2018 by Steven M. Peters

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Alzheimer’s disease, which destroys memory and important mental functions over time, and for which there is no cure, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Worldwide, Alzheimer’s and other dementias are the fifth leading cause of death, a tremendous increase since 2000, when they weren’t even among the top 10.

Two main factors have contributed to the increase in Alzheimer’s disease. People are living longer — and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases with age, according to Dr. Sylvain E. Lesné, associate professor at the Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota Medical School.

The risk doubles every five years after the age of 65. The other reason is that doctors are now able to detect the symptoms and diagnose it in the earlier stages, he noted.

Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. It is expected that this will change to every 33 seconds by 2050.

Age and genetics are the major factors that increase the likelihood of Alzheimer’s, Lesné said. People with a parent or a sibling with the disease are more likely to develop it themselves. The chance is even higher if more than one family member has the illness. There are some measures, however, that a person can take to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30%. These include exercise, healthy diet, getting enough sleep, controlling diabetes, and education, Lesné noted.

The longer you attend school — as in the more you engage your brain by learning new things — the lower your risk of developing the disease, he explained. “However, once it manifests itself, the brain deteriorates faster,” Lesné said.

Critical early signs of Alzheimer’s include impairment in facial recognition and confusion with navigation and space. “[The illness] affects a person’s inner GPS. You may go to the market but get confused and not even remember where you’re headed or why.” Another major sign is a recurrent lapse in reasoning. “If you always forget your keys, but find them on the counter, no problem; this is normal aging,” Lesné said. “But if you find them in the fridge, which is something you’d never do, that’s a big logic gap and a warning sign,” he added.

“People generally live about seven to eight years after diagnosis, but the lifespan can range between three and 20 years,” Lesné said. It really depends on environmental factors, lifestyle and pre-existing conditions, he explained. Those include diabetes, smoking, depression, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

To determine the states where the Alzheimer’s mortality rate is the highest, 24/7 Wall St. examined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ Healthy Aging data as well as the Underlying Cause of Death database, which contains mortality and population counts for all U.S. counties. All data refers to people who are 65 or older for 2016, the latest year for which data is available.

Click here to see the states where Alzheimer’s kills the most people.

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50. New York
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 102.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.1% (15th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.1% (25th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 33.3% (18th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.3% (24th highest)

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49. Maryland
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 136 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 7.6% (10th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.4% (10th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 31.6% (25th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 63.9% (12th highest)

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48. Massachusetts
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 145.4 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.7% (23rd lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 17.2% (11th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 33.3% (18th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.0% (25th lowest)

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47. Hawaii
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 157.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 6.1% (3rd lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 7.6% (the lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 25.3% (6th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 55.3% (3rd lowest)

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46. Connecticut
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 158.8 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 7.3% (6th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.0% (15th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 30.5% (19th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 60.3% (20th lowest)

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45. Wyoming
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 165.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 9.4% (18th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 16.2% (14th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 31.5% (24th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 57.2% (8th lowest)

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44. New Jersey
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 165.8 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 7.5% (9th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 10.8% (2nd lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 34.2% (14th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.4% (23rd highest)

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43. Florida
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 168.3 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.4% (19th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.9% (25th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 2.9% (13th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 60.4% (21st lowest)

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42. Pennsylvania
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 170.6 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 9.0% (20th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.9% (14th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 35.0% (10th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 59.4% (18th lowest)

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41. Montana
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 176.3 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.4% (19th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.3% (24th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 29.1% (15th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 54.0% (2nd lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

40. Kansas
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 179.4 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.7% (23rd lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.5% (23rd highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 32.5% (23rd highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 60.9% (23rd lowest)

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39. New Mexico
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 184.7 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 10.8% (9th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 17.6% (8th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 26.1% (7th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 57.5% (11th lowest)

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38. Nevada
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 193.2 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 12.3% (3rd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.3% (9th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 28.1% (11th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 56.9% (6th lowest)

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37. New Hampshire
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 194.2 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 6.7% (5th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.7% (13th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 28.3% (12th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 58.4% (13th lowest)

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36. Illinois
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 199 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.8% (23rd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.0% (6th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 34.1% (15th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 63.1% (14th highest)

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35. Alaska
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 203.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.8% (23rd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 11.2% (3rd lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 29.5% (18th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.0% (25th lowest)

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34. Nebraska
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 205.7 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.8% (23rd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.4% (18th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 32.6% (22nd highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 59.0% (15th lowest)

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33. Rhode Island
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 206.7 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 7.8% (9th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.2% (16th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 32.7% (21st highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 63.0% (15th highest)

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32. Virginia
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 209.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.6% (20th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.2% (8th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 34.7% (11th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 63.5% (13th highest)

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31. Delaware
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 213.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.7% (23rd lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.3% (17th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 34.4% (13th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.1% (25th highest)

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30. Maine
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 231.4 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.1% (15th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.7% (21st highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 30.7% (21st lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 60.9% (23rd lowest)

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29. Wisconsin
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 231.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.2% (17th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.5% (20th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 27.4% (10th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 60.1% (19th lowest)

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28. Missouri
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 234.7 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 11.0% (7th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 16.8% (12th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 33.6% (17th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.9% (18th highest)

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27. Iowa
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 245.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 9.7% (17th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 12.9% (5th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 31.4% (23rd lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 58.7% (14th lowest)

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26. West Virginia
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 248.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 10.7% (10th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.7% (21st highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 36.7% (8th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 65.7% (10th highest)

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25. Minnesota
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 249.8 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 7.4% (7th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.5% (11th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 29.5% (18th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 56.3% (4th lowest)

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24. Ohio
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 262.3 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 9.9% (15th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.8% (18th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 33.8% (16th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 62.0% (17th highest)

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23. Michigan
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 262.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 10.3% (12th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.5% (20th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 30.6% (20th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 62.4% (16th highest)

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22. Idaho
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 264.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 7.8% (11th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.8% (18th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 25.2% (5th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.5% (20th highest)

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21. Colorado
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 272.6 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.1% (15th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 16.1% (15th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 22.3% (3rd lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 53.0% (the lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

20. Oregon
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 273.4 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.9% (22nd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 19.9% (the highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 24.8% (4th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 57.3% (9th lowest)

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19. Indiana
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 273.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 10.9% (8th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 15.8% (18th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 35.9% (9th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.9% (18th highest)

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18. Kentucky
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 275.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 12.3% (3rd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.9% (25th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 42.3% (2nd highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 68.5% (4th highest)

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17. North Dakota
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 279.1 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.2% (17th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 12.4% (4th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 33.2% (20th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.5% (20th highest)

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16. Arizona
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 280.3 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.8% (23rd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 16.1% (15th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 27.1% (9th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 57.2% (8th lowest)

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15. Oklahoma
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 280.3 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 13.0% (2nd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 18.5% (2nd highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 41.2% (3rd highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 66.1% (9th highest)

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14. Vermont
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 281.1 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 9.0% (20th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 18.5% (2nd highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 29.0% (14th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 57.4% (10th lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

13. California
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 283.8 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 6.1% (3rd lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.7% (13th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 21.6% (the lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 58.0% (12th lowest)

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12. South Dakota
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 290.3 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 9.8% (16th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 13.1% (7th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 29.4% (16th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 59.4% (18th lowest)

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11. North Carolina
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 292.1 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 9.1% (19th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.9% (25th lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 31.6% (25th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 65.6% (11th highest)

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10. Texas
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 296.8 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 6.7% (5th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.8% (22nd lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 34.7% (11th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 61.5% (20th highest)

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9. Utah
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 308.2 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 5.2% (the lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 18.4% (5th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 26.4% (8th lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 56.4% (5th lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

8. Washington
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 319.2 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.% (12th lowest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 17.6% (8th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 22.0% (2nd lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 59.3% (16th lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

7. Arkansas
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 324.8 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 11.4% (5th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 16.0% (17th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 40.2% (4th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 66.8% (8th highest)

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6. Tennessee
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 346.6 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 13.8% (the highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 18.3% (6th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 38.1% (7th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 68.0% (6th highest)

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5. Georgia
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 351.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 10.2% (13th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 17.6% (8th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 32.4% (24th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 69.3% (3rd highest)

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4. Louisiana
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 351.7 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 11.4% (5th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 18.2% (7th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 39.0% (5th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 72.1% (the highest)

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3. Alabama
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 352.9 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 10.2% (13th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 18.5% (2nd highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 38.5% (6th highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 68.3% (5th highest)

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2. South Carolina
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 355.5 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 8.8% (23rd highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 16.4% (13th highest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 31.3% (22nd lowest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 67.1% (7th highest)

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1. Mississippi
> Death rate due to Alzheimer’s: 359.3 per 100,000
> Older adults who smoke regularly 10.7% (10th highest)
> Older adults diagnosed with depression 14.8% (22nd lowest)
> Older adults who have not exercised in a month 42.8% (the highest)
> Older adults with high blood pressure 70.5% (2nd highest)