Impact on Society
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive deadly mental disorder afflicting elderly individuals in all parts of the world, including high-, low- and middle-income countries, and all socioeconomic classes.
Every society is affected
Alzheimer’s being highly debilitating in later stages, its toll on the individual can be devastating, especially for those of poor socioeconomic status who often lack the social networks that is the most common way of providing both emotional and practical help in dealing with the disease.
Regional estimates of dementia prevalence in people aged 60 years and over now range from 4.7% in Central Europe to 8.7% in North Africa and the Middle East, though all other regional estimates lie in a relatively narrow band between 5.6 and 7.6%. The prevalence of dementia increases exponentially with age in all regions (World Alzheimer’s Report 2015, 2018).
Socioeconomic cost – traditional measures only ‘tip of the iceberg’
Alzheimer’s is one of the costliest diseases to society. Since patients require the support of multiple stakeholders across the healthcare and social care sectors, as well as from family members and friends, the cost of care is not neatly captured by typical healthcare delivery systems (Tip of the Iceberg, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2019; 70 (2): 321.).
The cost to society of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is estimated to be approximately US $ 1.3 trillion annually and is estimated to US $2.8 trillion by 2030, >1% of globalt BNP (World Alzheimer’s Report 2021).