Langa says individual risk of Alzheimer’s seems to have declined in U.S.
A study tracking dementia among people over 60 years since 1978 finds that the rate of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias has gone down in the U.S. Data from a few other wealthy nations indicate a similar decline, but the rate seems to be rising in some poor countries. In the U.S. the average age of dementia diagnosis rose from 80 to 85 and the rate of new cases dropped 44% over the period. Most of the decline seems related to better health care and health behavior. Kenneth Langa says: “For an individual, the actual risk of dementia seems to have declined,” even as the number of people with dementia continues to rise with population aging.