The number of people living with dementia worldwide is projected to triple over the next 30 years. Dementia refers to conditions that cause severe decline in mental ability. The physical changes in the brain that occur as the disease progresses significantly disrupt a person’s everyday life.
There are different types of Dementia, but the most common one is Alzheimer’s disease. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has problems thinking and remembering and becomes more confused and incoherent with time. They mix words and forget people, and their personality may change and they may behave aggressively. Eventually, Alzheimer’s patients require help with basic personal care.
About 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, a number that is estimated to more than double to 14 million by 2050.
In 2017, 66.7 people per 100,000 people died from dementia-related causes in the United States, up from 30.5 dementia deaths per 100,000 people in 2000. The death rates from dementia-related causes were fairly steady between 2013 and 2016 but increased noticeably from 2016 to 2017 in all age groups at highest risk — 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 and older — as well as all races. Some of the increase can be attributed to changes in the cause of death coding rules, which added more causes under dementia-related) deaths.
Dementia-related death rates vary across states. Several states with highest dementia-related death rates are in the South, while several states with the lowest dementia-related death rates are in the West. And dementia-related death rates are higher in non-metropolitan than in metropolitan areas, at 69.6 dementia-related deaths per 100,000 people versus 66.2 per 100,000, respectively.
Age is the biggest risk factor for developing dementia, and the risk increases as people get older. Death rates from dementia more than double among people aged 85 to 94, rising even more for people aged 95 and over. Other risk factors include family history, genetics, head injury, heart disease, and unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking and smoking (this is how the body reacts when you break the habit).
To determine how many people die from dementia in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the latest report by the National Vital Statistics System, maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics. The data is based on information from all death certificates filed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the period between 2000 and 2017. It includes the number of deaths caused by several types of dementia, including the most common — Alzhehimer’s disease. States are ranked based on number of deaths from dementia per 100,000 people. Age-adjusted death rates are per 100,000 people. Population figures came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. The share of the population 65 and older per state and the median age of people 65 and older also came from the ACS.