Declining Dementia Risk in the U.S., 1993-2010: The Health and Retirement Study

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Marriott Balcony A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Kenneth Langa, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
The aging of the US population is expected to lead to a large increase in the number of adults with dementia, but some recent studies in the US and other high-income countries suggest that the age-specific risk of dementia may have declined over the last 25 years.  Clarifying current and future population trends in dementia prevalence and risk has important implications for patients, families, and government programs.  We used data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative population-based longitudinal survey of US adults to track dementia prevalence in the United States between 2000 and 2010, and found a significant decline in dementia prevalence for the aged 65+ population during this time period.  Rising levels of education in the older US population appeared to be the main driver for this decrease in dementia risk.