Special Report

States Where Alzheimer's Is Soaring

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15. Idaho
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 22.2%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 10.6% (4th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 15.0% (13th lowest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $23,546 (18th lowest)

The shares of people in Idaho who are 65 and older, 75 and older, as well as older people currently living with Alzheimer’s, are among the lowest in the county. Some 27,000 people 65 and over in Idaho have the disease, a number that is projected to increase to 33,000 in the next five years. As a consequence of the expected growth in Alzheimer’s cases in Idaho, Medicaid costs of caring for residents with the disease are expected to climb between 2020 and 2025 by 31.2%, the fourth highest increase in the country.

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14. Texas
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 22.5%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.0% (24th highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 12.0% (3rd lowest)
> Avg. retirement income: $26,136 (22nd highest)

Texas has the third smallest share of the 65 and older population of any state, at 12%. Despite this, the state is expected to have the 14th highest increase in Alzheimer’s cases among the older population between 2020 and 2025, at 22.5%. In 2017, Medicare paid more than $30,000 per Texas resident living with Alzheimer’s, the sixth highest amount per capita among all states. As of 2019, Texas had 342 geriatricians, doctors specializing in health care for older people, fewer doctors than in only three other states.

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13. Montana
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 22.7%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.0% (25th highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 17.6% (5th highest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $24,549 (23rd lowest)

Montana has the fifth highest share of adults 65 and over, but the share of those adults currently living with Alzheimer’s is equal to the U.S. average of 12.0%. Though the state also has a relatively high share of residents who are 75 years or older — and the risk of developing the disease significantly increases with age — the mortality rate of Alzheimer’s among people of all ages is among the lowest in the country at 29.2 deaths per 100,000 people.

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12. New Hampshire
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 23.1%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 11.4% (16th lowest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 17.0% (9th highest)
> Avg. retirement income: $25,769 (23rd highest)

About 26,000 residents 65 and older of New Hampshire are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, that number is expected to increase by more than a fifth. The condition primarily affects older adults, and the state’s population of 65 and older comprises 17.0% of New Hampshire residents, the ninth highest share of all states. The state’s estimated increase in Medicaid payments for residents by 2025 with the disease is 31.9%, the third highest in the country. The U.S. Census estimates that 26.3% of New Hampshire residents will be 60 and older by 2030, a 40% increase in the share of the older population since 2012.

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11. New Mexico
> Projected increase in adults 65+ with Alzheimer’s disease, 2020-2025: 23.3%
> Pct. of 65+ pop. with Alzheimer’s disease: 12.6% (14th highest)
> Pct. of population 65+: 16.3% (16th highest – tied)
> Avg. retirement income: $29,095 (13th highest)

Both the share of residents 65 and older and the share of older residents with Alzheimer’s in New Mexico are among the highest in the country. There are 43,000 New Mexicans who are 65 and older currently living with Alzheimer’s. By 2025, that number is expected to rise by 23.3% to 53,000. The increase will lead to higher costs related to the care of Alzheimer’s patients. Medicaid spending on state residents 65 and older with the disease or other forms of dementia is expected to rise by 22.9%, slightly more than the U.S. projected average increase of 20.2%.

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