Aug 2, 2023 - Health

Suffolk County leads Massachusetts in Alzheimer's cases

Data: Dhana, et al., 2023, "Prevalence of Alzheimer's disease dementia in the 50 U.S. states and 3,142 counties"; Map: Axios Visuals

An estimated 11.3% of adults ages 65 or older in Massachusetts have Alzheimer's disease, per a new study.

Why it matters: It's critical for public health officials, policymakers and others to have a clear look at the number of Alzheimer's cases in a given area, the authors say.

  • That's in part because caring for those with the disease cost an estimated $321 billion nationwide last year, much of which came via Medicare and Medicaid, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick writes.

Zoom in: The researchers found that Alzheimer's is more prevalent in eastern Massachusetts, around Boston and also in the Springfield area.

  • As many as 130,000 people in Massachusetts have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, according to a 2021 state report.
  • The report showed those Massachusetts patients are supported by approximately 340,000 family caregivers. The number of patients is only going to get bigger.

What they're saying: "On the current trajectory, Massachusetts will see an estimated 150,000 people living with dementia by 2025," according to the report.

The big picture: The Eastern and Southeastern U.S. have the country's highest rates of Alzheimer's disease, according to the study.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Boston stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more