Alzheimer's-related deaths far higher than previously thought - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Study: Alzheimer's-related deaths far higher than previously thought

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CHICAGO -

Alzheimer's disease is listed officially as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States but new information suggests the disease contributes to far more deaths than what's been reported.

Five million people currently live with Alzheimer's -- a number expected to double or triple by mid-century.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago analyzed data on more than 2,500 elderly adults and when they dug deeper than what was written on death certificates, they found that Alzheimer's contributes to far more deaths than previously thought.

"Our finding actually puts Alzheimer's disease right behind cancer as the third leading killer with about 500,000 deaths per year," said Bryan James, Ph.D.

The CDC acknowledged Alzheimer's is likely under-reported on death certificates, but did not agree the gap is as large as what's suggested in this new research.

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