According to a recent Washington Post article, a February 5th report on the financial impact of Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. projects that it could soar to over $1 trillion per year by 2050.
The report, which was issued by the Alzheimer’s Association, suggests that the federal government will bear most of the increase, unless it funds research to find a cure or effective treatments by 2025. Effective treatments, for example, could save approximately $220 billion in the first five years, according to the article. Advocates suggest that failing to fund research now will cost the country significantly more in the future as its demographics shift to an older population susceptible to chronic age-related diseases.
The article notes that more than 5 million people currently live with Alzheimer’s disease and the number will increase to 13.5 million by 2050. Health care for people with dementia diseases currently costs $226 billion per year, of which 68% is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. By 2050, the number of people with the most severe phase of the disease is expected to increase to almost 50% (6.5 million people) of those projected to develop Alzheimer’s disease.