Report: Cost of Alzheimer’s tops quarter of a trillion dollars

Caring for the estimated 5.7 million American’s who will have Alzheimer’s disease this year will surpass a quarter of a trillion dollars, according to a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association.

The anticipated $277 billion cost is an increase of nearly $20 billion since last year, according to the 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report by the Alzheimer’s Association.

In Washington, the 2018 estimated total Medicaid cost for Americans 65 and older with dementia is $497 million. That number is expected to climb more than 36 percent by 2025, according to the report.

An estimated 110,000 Washington residents will have Alzheimer’s dementia this year. That number is expected to increase by 27 percent in just seven years. Nationwide, the prevalence is expected to increase 29 percent to 7.1 million people, according to the report.

The report also found that Alzheimer’s deaths have more than doubled in the last 15 years. In Washington, there were 3,490 deaths from Alzheimer’s in 2015. Deaths from other major illnesses and medical conditions, however, have decreased over the last 15 years, according to the report.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death, but it’s the only one of the top 10 causes that does not have a way to prevent, cure or slow its progression.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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