World Alzheimer’s Day was marked on Wednesday, September 21 but Genaro Gabriel Ortiz, president of the Asociación Jalisciense de Alzheimer, said there was no positive news to celebrate regarding the disease.
“The World Heath Organization has made Alzheimer’s a public health priority,” he said. “It is now the world’s third most costliest disease, costing 500 billion dollars a year.”
Ortiz said 6.9 percent of “adultos mayores” (a term usually referring to people aged over 65) in Jalisco now suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Although Ortiz considers this figure high, the number is even higher in the United States – one out of every nine people, around 11 percent. It is also the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
According to www.alz.org, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease every 68 seconds. At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by the year 2050.
The WHO estimates the number of people living with dementia worldwide at 35.6 million. They believe this number will double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050.
In the United States, there is growing concern that the Alzheimer’s crisis could eventually contribute to bankrupting Medicare.