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The Cost of Dementia: Worse Than We Thought

A new study shows that dementia will have a crippling impact on the U.S. economy.

Dementia’s financial impact on the U.S. economy in 2010 was around $109 billion, reported researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday. That figure largely consists of the costs of nursing-home care and home-based care, and it will likely double by 2040 as the population ages, according to the study.

That financial burden becomes even heavier if informal care, such as care provided by family members at home, is included. With those figures, the study found that the total cost of dementia in 2010 was between $157 billion and $215 billion.

This makes dementia one of the most costly diseases to society, the researchers write. As Stephen Hall reported for MIT Technology Review  in October 2012 (see “The Dementia Plague”), the growing dementia problem could bankrupt the healthcare system if scientists are uanble to find a way to treat or delay dementing diseases. 

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