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Indiana State Department of Health

ISDH Home > About the Agency > Health Information by Topic - A-Z >> > Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer's Disease

ICD 9: 290.1,331.0


ICD 10: G30


Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily living tasks. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia among older people. It involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.  AD is a disease that causes changes in the brain. It is a slowly progressing disease, which begins with mild memory problems and ends with serious mental damage and death. There is no known cause for AD.

The first sign of AD may be memory problems; mild forgetfulness of things such as names, recent events, places, and familiar people or things. As the disease progresses, simple things like brushing teeth or combing hair become harder to remember and thinking is not logical. Those affected begin to experience problems with speaking, understanding, reading, or writing. People with AD can become aggressive, anxious, or nervous and some with AD need full time care.

Data Summary

It is estimated that up to four million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's Disease (National Institute of Aging: Department of Health and Human Services). Age is the most important known risk factor for AD. Most people with AD are over 65 years old. The chance of getting AD increases as an individual gets older. As of 1999, 44,536 people in the United States died due to AD. It is estimated that 1 in 10 persons over 65 and roughly half of those over 85 have AD (Alzheimer's Alliance).

Comparisons- Race/Ethnic Group

There is a crucial need for increased research to find the unknown factors that generate the differences in risk and occurrences of AD in racial and ethnic minorities.

The 1999 U.S. ranking for deaths due to AD in the population age 65+:

Race/Ethnicity Rank15 Number15
Whites 8th 41,877
African Americans 11th 2,307
Native American Indian/Alaska Native 10th 83
Asian American/Pacific Islander 11th 225
Hispanics 9th 963

Healthy People 2010 did not have a specific goal for Alzheimer's disease death rate.

* Numbers vary due to population of race or ethnic group being compared
* Race and Ethnic groups are based on Indiana's Mortality Report 1999
* Rates are per 100,000 population
* Total death numbers that are below 20 are not statistically sound
* Hispanic is an ethnicity and it includes all races

15National Center for Injury Prevention and Control