New England Journal of Medicine study finds dementia as increasingly prevalent, among most expensive

Not only is the likelihood of dementia increasing in older adults, it's also one of the most expensive disease in the U.S., if not the highest, according to a study released Thursday.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports the malady's total cost in 2010 was between $157 billion and $215 billion. Medicare paid approximately $11 billion, according to the report. 

The cost per person came out to $41,689 or $56,290, depending on the method used to value informal care, in 2010.

Those numbers are at least as high as those for heart disease and cancer, the journal found.


Nearly 15 percent of those over 70 in the U.S. were affected by dementia, according to the study. Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

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