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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alzheimer’s death rates outpace other illnesses

The illnesses that killed our parents and grandparents won’t kill as many of us in the future.

Deaths from strokes, heart attacks and cancer declined significantly between 2000 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while death from Alzheimer’s increased significantly.

Diseases of older age can take years to finally kill you. You can battle cancer a long time. Manage heart disease for decades. But these illnesses can also take you quickly, especially heart attacks and massive strokes.

Usually, Alzheimer’s disease progresses slowly but relentlessly. People diagnosed in their late 60s, for instance, live an average of eight more years, but some live 20 years and more beyond diagnosis.

According to a recent Alzheimer’s Association report: “It is expected an estimated 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s. Of those who reach 85, nearly one in two will get it.”

The national death rate from Alzheimer’s is 25.1 deaths per 100,000 population. Washington has the highest Alzheimer’s death rate in the country, 43.6 deaths per 100,000 population. Idaho’s Alzheimer’s death rate is 26.8 percent.