Study estimates 800 Dare seniors have Alzheimer’s   

By on July 21, 2023

Source: Alzheimers Association

New county-by-county report released at international Alzheimer’s conference

A newly released study estimating the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals 65 and older projects that out of 8,700 seniors in Dare County, 800 of them have Alzheimer’s, for a prevalence rate of 8.9%.

The study, which was released at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in the Netherlands on July 17, estimates that the Alzheimer’s prevalence rate among those 65 and older is actually higher in Currituck County (9.2%) and Hyde County (12.4%). But because of the considerably larger senior population in Dare County, the number of estimated cases in those two counties is less, at 500 and 100, respectively.

According to the release accompanying the data, researcher Kumar B. Rajan, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical College and his team, used cognitive data from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) and population estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics (NHCS) to estimate the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in adults 65 years and older in all U.S. counties.

The study, the first one to project U.S. Alzheimer’s cases on a county-by-county basis—3,142 in all–found that counties in the eastern and southeastern U.S. had the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s .

While Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, it should be noted that this study only looked at the prevalence of Alzheimer’s. The data also applies only to those 65 and older and does not include projected cases before that age.

Dare County’s 2021-2022 Community Health Needs Assessment, which contains 2019 data, indicates that Alzheimer’s is the seventh leading cause of death in Dare County and the sixth leading cause of death in the state of North Carolina overall.

On June 21, the Outer Banks Dementia Friendly Coalition celebrated its 10th anniversary with an event at Jennette’s Pier. Coalition Executive Director Diane Denny noted that idea for the Coalition grew out of a County Health Needs Assessment more than a decade ago that indicated a need for more services for people with dementia.

At that event, Gentle Experts Memorycare (GEM) Executive Director Gail Sonnesso told the Voice that “Our population is aging, and they’re living longer,” So also noted that sadly, she has peers being diagnosed with dementia, adding that “I took care of their parents; now I’m taking care of them.”

Link to the NC county-by-county breakout on spreadsheet. US County-Level Alzheimer’s Prevelance_North Carolina_Source: Alzheimer’s & Dementia 2023.xlsx – Google Sheets


Comments are closed.