ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
CANCER
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Olde Time Medicine Therapy May Prevent Alcoholic Relapse
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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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