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New Alzheimer's report reveals Arizona has fastest growth rate for disease

Posted at 4:46 AM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 09:42:27-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - The new Facts and Figures Alzheimer's report has revealed Arizona has the fastest growth rate for Alzheimer's disease in the entire country.

The report specified last year Arizona came in second in growth rate. This year however, the number of people living with Alzheimer's in Arizona is expected to grow 43 percent in the next six years.

"People love to move here, we've got amazing attractions here in Arizona and it keeps older adults moving from other states here to Arizona, it's a great place to live. But with that as we get older at age 65 our risk for Alzheimer's goes up and because more people at that age range and older are moving here, more people will be affected by Alzheimer's disease," said Morgen Hartford, the Southern Arizona Regional Director for the Alzheimer;s Association

The report also found only seniors above the age of 65 across the country aren't getting routine vital cognitive testing done.

Only one in seven seniors are getting regular cognitive assessments for memory or thinking issues, according to the report.

Hartford said one of the many reasons this is the case lies within doctor, patient relationships.

"We find that there's actually a disconnect between doctors and their patients. Patients are waiting for the doctors to tell them that it's time for them to take that test and to ask those questions. Well physicians are actually waiting for their patients to indicate there's a problem," said Hartford.

Another big takeaway from this year's report was more people in the United States are living with the disease.

The report found "an estimated 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019, including 140,000 in Arizona".

In the year 2025, it is projected Arizona will have about 200,000 people living with Alzheimer's, according to the report.