Alzheimer's disease kills more than believed

The number of Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia-related deaths is greater than five times the number reported in the United States every year, according to research published in the journal Neurology. Researchers, led by Bryan D. James, Ph.D., of Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, examined 2,566 patients aged 65 or older without dementia from two studies that required organ donation. During an eight-year period,  559 participants without dementia at baseline developed AD dementia and 1,090 died, with the median time from dementia diagnoses to death at about 3.8 years. The mortality hazard ratio for patients ages 75 to 84 was 4.3 and 2.77 for patients 85 years and older, while population attributable risk was 37 percent and 35.8 percent, respectively. Researchers estimated AD dementia caused the deaths of 503,400 Americans ages 75 years or older in 2010, more than the 84,000 reported on death certificates. Study abstract