Blues Report: Early-Onset Alzheimer's, Dementia Diagnoses Have Tripled

131,000 Americans, ages 30-64, have a diagnoses

The number of Americans in the commercially insured diagnosed with either early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s disease tripled between 2013 and 2017, according to a report issued today by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Extrapolating from a Blues claims data base, the association estimates that 131,000 American between the ages of 30 and 64 were diagnosed early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s in 2017. That’s not far off from the Alzheimer’s Association estimate that 200,000 Americans younger than 65 are living with early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“While the total number of people diagnosed is relatively small, the diagnosis rate of early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is increasing especially in younger age groups,” the report says.

In 2013, the proportion of Americans, ages 30 to 64, was with a diagnosis was 4.2 per 10,000 adults. By 2017, that ratio had tripled to 12.6 per 10,000. 

The increase was highest in Americans, ages 30 to 44, for whom it jumped 373% (0.9 per 10,000 people in 2013 to 4.4 per 10,000 in 2017).

The report was based on an analysis of diagnostic codes from a Blue Cross Blue Shield database of 48 million claims. The researchers then extrapolated their findings to the entire commercially insured population.

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