U.S. Alzheimer's rate seems to be dropping - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

U.S. Alzheimer's rate seems to be dropping

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The rate of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is falling in the United States and some other rich countries — good news about an epidemic that is still growing simply because more people are living to an old age, new studies show.

An American over age 60 today has a 44 percent lower chance of developing dementia than a similar-aged person did roughly 30 years ago, the longest study of these trends in the U.S. concluded.

"For an individual, the actual risk of dementia seems to have declined," probably due to more education and control of health factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure, said Dr. Kenneth Langa of the University of Michigan, who discussed the studies Tuesday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen. The opposite is occurring in some poor countries that have lagged on education and health, where dementia seems to be rising.
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