ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Tune Up Your Health With Music
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Add your Article

With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- In a new report, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that Alzheimer's disease and dementia triple the health-care costs for afflicted seniors.

In addition, people who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities pay an average of $16,689 in out-of-pocket costs each year, researchers found. The association also estimates that nearly 10 million unpaid caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease spent 8.5 billion hours in 2008 watching over their loved ones, care valued at an estimated $94 billion.

"These health-care costs are crippling, not just to society at large but to families and individuals," said Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer with the Alzheimer's Association, which released the report Tuesday.

About 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, according to the association's Facts and Figures report for 2009. The number includes about 14 percent of people aged 71 and older.

The report finds that:

* The average annual health-care cost for someone older than 65 with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia was $33,007 in 2004 -- three times more than the $10,603 for people that age without the conditions.
* Deaths from Alzheimer's disease rose by 47 percent from 2000 to 2006 while the number of deaths from several other major diseases -- including heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and prostate cancer -- fell during that period.
* States in the Rocky Mountains and Northwest will see the number of people with Alzheimer's disease increase by at least 81 percent between 2000 and 2025.
* By 2025, California and Florida will each be home to more than a half-million people with Alzheimer's disease.

"The bottom line is that we are an aging society, and if we don't find a cure to delay or halt the disease, we are soon going to become an Alzheimer's nation," said Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a psychiatry professor at Duke University Medical Center and co-author of the book The Alzheimer's Action Plan.

Dr. Gary Small, director of the Memory & Aging Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, added that detecting symptoms early can save money in the long run.

"If you treat people early and keep them at a higher level of functioning, the costs tend to be lower," Small said. "The costs tend to increase as people get more dysfunctional and require more medical care and caregiver time."

In the big picture, the country needs to invest more in Alzheimer's research to keep costs low in the future, Small said. "More research on that could eventually get us to the stage where you take a vaccine or drug to reduce the risk of getting it," he said.

Geiger said that the federal government needs to more than double its annual budget for Alzheimer's research, to $1 billion. "That's the level and the investment that it's going to take," she said.

-Randy Dotinga

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has more about Alzheimer's disease.



SOURCES: Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; Gary Small, M.D., director, Memory & Aging Center, University of California, Los Angeles; P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., professor, psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Alzheimer's Association, 2009 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures

Last Updated: March 24, 2009

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