Alzheimer’s disease is caused by damage to nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Neurons are essential to thinking, walking, talking – really all areas of human activity. The majority of people who develop Alzheimer’s are 65 or older. The greatest risk factors are age, genetics, and family history. Scientists believe Alzheimer’s can begin 20 years or more before memory loss and other symptoms develop. An estimated 6.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s – which is one of the 15 leading causes of death in America.
To determine the states where Alzheimer’s rates are expected to soar in the next two years, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the projected increase in the number of Americans 65 and older with the disease between 2020 and 2025 in every state from the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association’s Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures report. The share of the population that is 65 years or older in each state came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.
The United States has the third-largest population in the world, at 334.7 million as of May 2, 2023, and it’s growing. As the population increases, so does the overall number of residents with Alzheimer’s disease. But incidences of Alzheimer’s don’t always correspond with individual state populations. The biggest projected percentage increase in adults 65 and over with Alzheimer’s disease from 2020 to 2025 is ascribed to some of our least populous states, like Alaska, Wyoming, and Vermont, as well as to states with considerably larger populations, including Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. All of these states have projected increases over the five-year period of 24% or above. (These are the 22 states where people live the longest.)
Click here to see the states where Alzheimer’s is soaring
North Dakota, which is the sixth smallest state in America, has the lowest projected increase of all, a mere 6.7%. The medium-sized states of Missouri and Wisconsin are next, tied at 8.3%.
In terms of absolute numbers, however, Alaska, with the third-lowest population of any state, is forecast to have the lowest estimated number of residents with Alzheimer’s in 2025 (11,000), while California, the most populous state, is projected to have the highest (840,000).
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