A study from researchers at Rush University Medical Center suggests Alzheimer's disease may be a much larger cause of death than previously thought, ranking just behind heart disease and cancer.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
“Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are under-reported on death certificates and medical records,” said study author Bryan D. James, PhD, the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
“Death certificates often list the immediate cause of death, such as pneumonia, rather than listing dementia as an underlying cause.”James added that attempting to identify a single cause of death does not always capture the reality of the process of dying for most elderly people, as multiple health issues often contribute.
The research is published in the journal Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
New evidence suggests that deaths from Alzheimer's are 5 to 6 times higher than previously reported by the Centers for Disease Contol and death certificates.