WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The numbers behind Alzheimer’s disease will climb dramatically in the coming years, according to a new study.
LiveScience reports as baby boomers get older, 28 million will develop Alzheimer’s disease between now and 2050. The study also estimates that 10 million baby boomers will be living with the disease by 2040, doubling the total number of U.S. adults currently battling the disease.
The study was presented Tuesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C.
Researchers found that the percentage of baby boomers with Alzheimer’s disease will increase from 1.2 percent in 2020 to 50.1 percent in 2015. By that time, all surviving baby boomers will be at least 85 years old, according to the study. The Alzheimer’s Association notes that the risk of the disease increases among those older than 85.
“As baby boomers get older, the number of people developing the disease will rise to levels far beyond anything we’ve ever seen before,” Maria Carrillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, said in a released statement.
Experts say research into treatment and potential cures is crucial. Treatment that would delay the effects of Alzheimer’s by five years would reduce the number of people in 2050 from 13.5 million to 7.8 million, according to the Alzheimer’s association.
The report additionally found that Medicare spending for baby boomers with Alzheimer’s could increase from $11.86 million in 2020 to $238 billion in 2040. This severe increase would shift from 2.1 percent of total Medicare spending to 24 percent.
“If we’re going to change the current trajectory of the disease, we need consistent and meaningful investments in research,” Carrillo added.