HealthDay News — Mortality attributed to dementia increased from 2000 to 2017, with variation by age, race, and sex, according to a study published online March 14 in National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ellen A. Kramarow, Ph.D., and Betzaida Tejada-Vera, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, present data on mortality attributable to dementia for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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The researchers identified 261,914 deaths attributable to dementia as an underlying cause of death reported in the United States in 2017; 46 percent were due to Alzheimer disease. For dementia as an underlying cause of death, the age-adjusted death rate was 66.7 deaths per 100,000 U.S. population in 2017. The age-adjusted death rates were higher for women than men (72.7 versus 56.4) and increased with age, from 56.9 to 2,707.3 deaths per 100,000 among people aged 65 to 74 years and those aged 85 years and older, respectively. The non-Hispanic white population had higher age-adjusted death rates than the non-Hispanic black and Hispanic populations (70.8 versus 65 and 46, respectively). An increase in age-adjusted death rates for dementia was seen from 2000 to 2017.

“As the population ages and mortality due to other chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease) declines, a larger proportion survives to ages where the risk for dementia is highest,” the authors write. “This may explain, in part, the observed increase since 2000.”

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