According to a new RAND study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, dementia care costs are now comparable to those of heart disease and cancer. And unlike most chronic diseases, rates of dementia in the population are rising rapidly. The study estimates that about 3.8 million Americans currently suffer from dementia, and predicts that this number will climb to 9.1 million by 2040. The cost of the disease to the country will rise proportionally if a cure is not found. Dementia can also be more costly per person to treat than other diseases, due to the need for constant care.
David Shenk spoke this morning on NPR’s The Takeaway about the new RAND study and Alzheimer’s costs in the coming years. David is is the author of The Forgetting: Alzheimer’s, Portrait of An Epidemic and a senior advisor to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.