Aug 1, 2023 - Health

Alzheimer's disease is rising in Iowa

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% of Iowa adults age 65 or older have Alzheimer's disease, per a new study published in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

Why it matters: Dementia has detrimental health consequences not only to the patients, but caregivers as well.

What's happening: As of 2020, an estimated 62,100 Iowans were diagnosed with dementia.

  • That number is expected to rise to 73,000 by 2025, according to the HHS.

Zoom in: In western Iowa where the rural populations skew older, Alzheimer's disease is more prevalent.

  • Black Iowans are twice as likely to get Alzheimer's and are less likely than white Iowans to have access to healthcare.

What's next: The state is undergoing a strategic plan using funding from the CDC.

  • It includes requiring dementia training for paid care workers and training primary care doctors to speak about memory concerns with their patients for early detection.
  • There's also a public awareness campaign, including an upcoming event held by Iowa HHS focusing on what causes memory loss and how to fight it.

How to attend: The event is at the community room in the West Des Moines Library on Aug. 7 from 6:30-7:30pm.


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