(Pulled From http://www.alzinfo.org/alzheimers-disease-information.asp#4)
Who Is Affected by Alzheimer's Disease?
Today, it is estimated that about five million* Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and about 360,000 people are newly diagnosed every year. Alzheimer's affects about 10 percent of people ages 65 and up, and the prevalence doubles roughly every 10 years after age 65. Half of the population ages 85 and up may have Alzheimer's.
Because the population of the U.S. is aging, the number of people with Alzheimer's will continue to rise unless something can be done to stem the rise. At current rates, experts believe that as many as 16 million Americans will have the disease by the year 2050.
The financial cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can be overwhelming and is estimated to be about $50,000 per year in direct medical expenses. Multiplied by five million (the estimated number of people with Alzheimer's), total direct costs in the U.S. exceed $250 billion per year. When indirect costs such as lost wages and decreased productivity of sufferers and their caregivers are included, the annual costs of Alzheimer's rise astronomically - high enough to potentially bankrupt the nation's entire healthcare system.
*Sources: Evans D., International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders; Evans et al, The Milbank Quarterly; Brookmeyer et al, American Journal of Public Health