ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
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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