Dementia rates are declining in the U.S.

Dementia rates are declining in the U.S.

As awareness and treatments grow, dementia rates are declining in the U.S., according to a new study from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association:

Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the amount of people living with dementia worldwide is estimated at 47.5 million.

The new study supports previous research suggesting that the risk of dementia is declining.

The analysis found that dementia prevalence among participants aged 65 and older decreased from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012.

This calculates to an absolute decrease of 2.8 percent and a relative decrease of 24 percent.

The researchers also found that areas with education had lower incidences of dementia.

Education may have decreased the risk of developing dementia by either directly affecting the brain or improving brain power and cognitive function.

The researchers conclude:

However, the full set of social, behavioral and medical factors contributing to the decline in dementia prevalence is still uncertain. Continued monitoring of trends in dementia incidence and prevalence will be important for better gauging the full future societal impact of dementia as the number of older adults increases in the decades ahead, as well as clarifying potential protective and risk factors for cognitive decline.”

The study showing that dementia rates are declining in the U.S. was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Dementia Rates Falling in the U.S.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
2. “Decline in Prevalence in Dementia in United States between 2000-2012.” EurekAlert! The JAMA Network Journals, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2016.
3. “Prevalence of Dementia in the United States in 2000 and 2012.” JAMA Internal Medicine. The JAMA Network, 21 Nov. 2016. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
4. “What Is Dementia?Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s Association, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
5. “10 Facts on Dementia.” WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.

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