Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

April 4, 2013

Dementia care at $109 billion more expensive than heart disease

SAN FRANCISCO — The cost of caring for dementia patients has reached $109 billion annually, exceeding that for heart disease and cancer, and will double by the time the youngest Baby Boomers reach their 70's, according to a study.

Dementia, most commonly taking the form of Alzheimer's, results in a loss of brain function affecting memory, thinking, language, judgment and behavior. More than 5 million Americans have the Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and that number will rise 40 percent by 2025. Dementia represents a substantial financial burden on society, researchers said in the study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The need for treatments for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders is now urgent, researchers said. To speed along research, President Barack Obama announced earlier this week a campaign called the BRAIN Initiative, which will spend $100 million beginning in 2014 to map the complex interactions between brain cells and neurological circuits.

"We need more research into interventions to delay or halt the onset of dementia, right now we don't really have anything at all," said Michael Hurd, an author of the study and director of Rand Corp.'s Center of the Study of Aging, in an interview. "The problem is going to grow rapidly."

When support from family and friends is given a cost value, the yearly expense of dementia care and treatment doubled to $215 billion in 2010, the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, said. That figure will jump to $511 billion by 2040, as the generation born between 1946 and 1964 range become elderly, according to the study.

By comparison, the direct cost of treating heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, was $102 billion in 2010, while cancer cost $77 billion, according to the paper.

The study, conducted by researchers from Rand Corp. and the University of Michigan, estimates 15 percent of people older than 70 have dementia, based on their interviews with 856 out of almost 11,000 participants in the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. They also collected self-reported out-of- pocket costs, nursing home spending, Medicare claims data and estimates of hours spent by unpaid volunteers. The annual cost per person was estimated to be $56,290.

The NIH report is a prominent effort from a non-advocacy group to determine the financial toll of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association has estimated higher prevalence and a cost of $172 billion in 2010, based on different methodologies.

Little is known about the causes of many brain disorders, including Alzheimer's, a disease expected to affect 65.7 million people by 2030. There have been 101 unsuccessful attempts to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's disease since 1998, including recent setbacks by Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly & Co., according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In January 2011, Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act into law. Its goal is to improve the ability of the federal government to track costs to Medicare, Medicaid and individuals that result from dementia.

The study "heightens the awareness of the particular problem of Alzheimer's disease that somehow as a nation we're going to have to accommodate for," said Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute of Aging in Bethesda, Md., the arm of NIH that directs Alzheimer's research, in an interview. "Not just the cost for professionals, but the enormously important hours spent by volunteers out of love, becomes more and more of a challenge when we have fewer and fewer people able to take on that role."

 

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • helping children Tri-County CASA seeks additional volunteers as child abuse cases increase

    From 2010-2013, Oklahoma has seen an increase in children entering foster care. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports, approximately 11,000 children are in state’s custody because of child abuse or neglect — 4,000 in the Tulsa area alone and more than 100 in Rogers County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge refuses to dismiss Grubowski in DA suit

    A judge has denied businessman Myron Grubowski's motion to remove him from the defamation lawsuit filed by District Attorney Janice Steidley against sponsors of last fall's unsuccessful citizens petition for a local grand jury investigation of her  office.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

    April 17, 2014

  • Jennifer Hodges Claremont Elementary teacher named the winner of $2,500 classroom grant

    Jennifer Hodges, a fifth grade teacher at Claremont Elementary, has been named winner of a $2,500 grant through the Farmers Insurance Thank A Million Teachers program. The national initiative invites citizens to offer thanks to teachers, past and present, who have made a difference in their lives.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners hire outside counsel

    The Rogers County Commissioners hired outside legal counsel Monday to contest the $28 million civil judgment paid to Material Service Corp.

    April 16, 2014

  • Council adopts TIF ordinances

    At a special meeting of the Claremore City Council on Monday, City Manager Jim Thomas briefly addressed the traffic congestion   caused a week ago by railroad crossing repair work.

    April 16, 2014

  • Grand jury reviewing misconduct accusations reconvenes in OKC

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials reconvenes today in Oklahoma City.

    April 15, 2014

  • anderson statement No Public Meeting
    The Rogers County Commissioners announced Monday they will not host a public meeting to address the findings of the recently released Oklahoma State Auditor’s report.
     

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lawyers protest move to take over judicial appointments
    A top Oklahoma lawyer is protesting a move by the Legislature to wrest control of the way judges are chosen, which she says could taint the state’s judicial system.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • john cox announce Cox announces candidacy for State Superintendent

    Dr. John Cox, D-Peggs, is formally announcing his candidacy for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo