Worldwide Dementia Price Tag $604 Billion:
TUESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The global cost of
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in 2010 is an estimated
$604 billion, according to a report released Tuesday by Alzheimer's
The estimate includes direct costs of medical care in primary
and secondary care settings, direct costs of social care provided
in residential care settings and by community care professionals,
and unpaid informal care offered by family caregivers and
World Alzheimer Report 2010 found that the cost of
Alzheimer's and related dementias is about 1 percent of the world's
gross domestic product and that if dementia care were a country, it
would be the world's 18th largest economy, ranking between Turkey
Among the other findings:
- If dementia care were a company, it would be the world's
largest by annual revenue, ahead of such giants as Wal-Mart ($414
billion) and Exxon Mobil ($311 billion).
- Worldwide costs of dementia will increase 85 percent by 2030.
This is a conservative estimate that considers only increases in
the number of people with dementia, said the report authors.
- Costs in low- and middle-income countries are likely to rise
much faster than in rich nations. This is because these countries
will see a sharper rise in the numbers of people with dementia, and
economic development will boost costs towards levels in rich
Alzheimer's Disease International is a U.K.-based nonprofit
federation of 73 national Alzheimer's organizations, including the
Alzheimer's Association in the United States.
"This report clearly illustrates that dementia is already affecting health systems around the world, and for the families who are forced to face Alzheimer's the anguish is universal. The World Alzheimer Report 2010 urges all countries -- including
the U.S. -- to develop national plans to deal with the disease,"
Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, said
in an association news release.
The group will present Congress with a 100,000-name petition
Tuesday, urging lawmakers to make Alzheimer's disease a national
"Given the magnitude and the impact of Alzheimer's, the U.S. federal government's response to this crisis has been stunningly neglectful," Johns said. "We know Alzheimer's will place a massive strain on an already overburdened health care system, especially Medicare and Medicaid. Substantial investment in Alzheimer research is required to avoid an even more painful future for American families and already overwhelmed state and federal budgets. Yet, the government has no national plan for how to deal with this crisis."
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about
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