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Life Expectancy Following Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Depends on Age

  [ 465 votes ]   [ 3 Comments ] • November 22, 2002

The life span of people with Alzheimer's disease depends greatly on the age of the person when Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Determining the survival following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is important information for helping patients, families, and their caregivers, deal with the illness. The findings are published in the November 18, 2002, edition of Archives of Neurology.

"The duration of survival following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease depends critically on the subject's age at diagnosis. The results of this study indicate that the median survival of patients with Alzheimer's disease could range from nearly 9 years for persons diagnosed at age 65 to approximately 3 years for persons diagnosed at age 90 years," said Ronald Brookmeyer, PhD, professor of biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Data for the study was collected from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, which began in 1958 to monitor the effects of aging. The participants were asked to return for follow-up visits every two years to be examined and to answer questionnaires. From this study, Dr. Brookmeyer and his colleagues selected 921 participants who were age 55 or older in 1985 and had received some follow-up visits. Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed using several neuropsychological tests and deaths were recorded through September 1999.

The statistical analysis found that the median survival times ranged from 8.3 years for people diagnosed at age 65 to 3.4 years for people diagnosed at age 90. Persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at age 65 could anticipate a 67 percent reduction in life span compared to those without Alzheimer's disease, while persons diagnosed at age 90 could anticipate a 39 percent reduction in life span. The researchers say Alzheimer's disease is associated with a greater proportionate reduction of life span among patients affected at younger ages compared with older ages, presumably because patients at older ages are at higher risk of dying from other causes.

The researchers also reported that the average length of time between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease was 2.8 years. However, they did not find any significant differences between men and women in survival after diagnosis of the disease.

"It is projected that in the next 50 years, the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease will quadruple with approximately 1 in 45 Americans living with the disease. Information on survival following diagnosis is important not only for predicting future prevalence of the disease, but also for planning the resources necessary to care for patients during a life span of increasing difficulty," said Dr. Brookmeyer.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Alzheimer's disease only assumed for the elderly here!
Posted by: sandybottoms
Feb 28, 2008
Why do you only assume it inflict the elderly? My sister was dianosed with it in 2001 at the age of 46 & there have been many young people in our experience with clinics and homes that have Alzheimer's in their mid to late 40's!
Reply Reply

all diseases are starting earlier in life...why?
Posted by: dearbornite
Nov 23, 2008
I'll tell you why. It's the American diet. Generations back, junk food was not as prevelant, carbs, alcohol, caffeine, and smoking took years to make a person acidic, which IS the basis for alzheimer's and dementia developement. We've studied it for 8 years and have not been proven incorrect on one single case. They have all been metabolically acidic. Anyway, 30yrs ago, more and more junk food, prepackaged and convenience foods came on the scene. Consumption of these foods started and younger ages and in greater amounts. Many bodies are not able to keep up in maintaining acid/base balance, start heading toward acidity and you can coronary artieries occluding and MI's in people in their 20s - 30s instead of 50-60s (*they do not occlude in alkaline environments) cancer, alzheimers, parkinsons, dementia and MANY other diseases. What can you do? ALKALIZE! Coral calcium, NON DISTILLED WATER, cut out coffee and pop, exercise-even LIGHT exercise increases oxygenation (which is reduced in an acidic environment), breathing exercises help blow off excess acid, alkalizing green powders. We did the above for my mother who was doing horribly-it took about 3 months to see a change (starting with coral calcium only-and make sure it is 50% ratio---ie whatever the calcium is, magnesium should be HALF, ie 250mg ca, 125mg mag or it's JUNK) but there was a change, and in a few more months, amazing changes. NONE of the alzhiemer meds helped at ALL so we took her off and follwed our own design. Family members started asking WHAT are you doing that is working so well? I'd tell them and they'd "pppft-my doctor never said anything about calcium" -everyone poo poos it. It's sickening. You can get amazing results without paying out the nose for something that doesn't work. TRY IT. and NO, I don't SELL it--I just know it works--my advice also, is buy it in a health food store--online seems to be WAY overpriced plus you have to ship---or try have sales all the time. give it 3 months-see what you see---then spread the word.


Many late diagnoses happenings.
Posted by: gunnison
Feb 27, 2009
It is very unfortunate that so many younger people with alzheimer's are diagnosed late in the progression rate of this disease.

Dr's, and many medical sites such as this one mislead people into thinking it is impossible for someone ranging from late teens to late 40's to have this disease. So family members do not even suspect it might be alzheimer's and believe it to be another problem, such as anxiety disorder or being bi-polar ( in early stages ).

My little sister died of Alzheimer's at the age of 27. When the correct diagnoses was given by MANY specialist dr's it was far to late to get full exploitation on slowing its process from treatment.

She was my parent's only daughter. My only sister. She had multiple scholarship offers from dozens of colleges upon graduating high school at 18. Graduated from Brigham Young University at the age of 26. She had 1 only 1 year to fully enjoy and put to work the great modern education that she worked so hard all her life in order to earn.


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