Wisconsin among least impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia despite rising U.S. numbers 

Alzheimer’s and dementia are having an increasing U.S. impact, a new study reports. An estimated 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common disease that causes dementia, and that number is expected to grow to 13.8 million by 2060.  

While mortality rates for other leading causes of death, like cancer, stroke, COPD, and heart disease, have decreased since the year 2000, the Alzheimer’s mortality rate has risen by 72%. The U.S. is investing billions of dollars in an ongoing search for a cure. 

One notable finding of the study, however, was that some areas of the country — including Wisconsin ­— tend to be less impacted by dementia. Wisconsin ranks No. 3 among the six least impacted states, the others of which are in the northeastern U.S. 

Just over 10% of Wisconsin seniors show cognitive decline, and around 15% need help with daily activities; the Alzheimer’s mortality rate among Wisconsinites is 33 per 100,000, and the average annual Medicaid cost for dementia is $6,475 in the state. 

Studies regarding geographical differences in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and dementia are still ongoing, but lifestyle risks and availability of medical care appear to be key factors.