Nearly half of dementia-related deaths in 2017 were due to Alzheimer's

There has been a significant increase in dementia-related deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades, data from the CDC's National Vital Statistics Reports shows.

The data is based on information from death certificates filed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Dementia-related deaths in the report represent deaths attributed to unspecified dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and other degenerative diseases of the nervous system.

Researchers found that in 2017, 261,914 deaths occurred that reported dementia as an underlying cause of death. Forty-six percent of those deaths were due to Alzheimer's disease. Overall, age-adjusted death rates for dementia increased from 2000 to 2017.

The data also shows that in 2017:

• The age-adjusted death rate for dementia as an underlying cause of death was 66.7 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population.
• Age-adjusted death rates were higher among women than in men.
• Death rates increased with age, from 56.9 deaths per 100,000 among people aged 65 to 74 years to 2,707.3 deaths per 100,000 among people aged 85 years and older.
• Age-adjusted death rates were higher among the non-Hispanic white population versus the non-Hispanic black population and the Hispanic population.

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