Implications of Rising Alzheimer Disease Prevalence Across US Counties: Kumar B. Rajan, PhD


The professor in the department of internal medicine at RUSH Medical College talked about estimating the prevalence of Alzheimer disease to uncover the variability in disease prevalence at a micro-level and its implications for public health programs. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"I think that it has a lot of implications in terms of public health programs aimed at prevention, detection of the disease, in terms of care and burden, and in terms of a lot of other government programs that are allocated to say, counties or states. If there is some estimate of what it looks like across the US, there can be a better allocation for minority communities, which have a higher prevalence of the disease.”

Estimating the prevalence and number of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) in the United States and other countries worldwide may provide a better understanding of region-specific burden of the disease. In a recent study using cognitive data from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NHCS), findings showed a higher estimated prevalence of AD in the East and Southeastern regions of the US.1 The top 3 counties with the highest prevalence of AD were Miami-Dade County in Florida, Baltimore city in Maryland, and Bronx County in New York, each with a prevalence of 16.6%.

Senior author Kumar B. Rajan, PhD, professor in the department of internal medicine at RUSH Medical College, presented these findings at the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, July 16 to July, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Rajan and colleagues noted that the results could help public health officials to understand the disease burden and develop strategies for identifying and caring for people with AD.

Prior to the meeting, Rajan sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of his presentation. He talked about how he and his colleagues estimated the prevalence of AD across different counties and states in the US, as well as the aim of the study in examining the variability of AD prevalence at a micro-level. In addition, Rajan discussed the implications of obtaining accurate estimates of AD prevalence for public health programs and resource allocation.

Click here for more coverage of AAIC 2023.

1. Dhana K, Beck T, Desai P, et al.Prevalence of Alzheimer’s dementia in the 50 U.S. states and 3142 counties: A population estimate using the 2020 bridged-race postcensal from the National Center for Health Statistics. Presented at: 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 16 to July 20; Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Abstract 74430.
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