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CDC: California Alzheimer’s Deaths Jump 87 Percent Since 1999

CDC: California Alzheimer's Deaths Jump 87 Percent Since 1999

GUEST:

Mary Ball, president, Alzheimer's San Diego

Transcript

Death rates from Alzheimer's disease nationwide increased 55 percent between 1999 and 2014, the Centers for Disease Control reported last week, with California deaths rising 87 percent.

There are many reasons for those jumps, according to the research, including an aging population and better diagnoses.

"The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s is skyrocketing because people are living longer," said Alzheimer's San Diego president Mary Ball. "I also believe there’s a lot more awareness, so you see a lot more attention to accurate morbidity coding. Doctors are better at listing Alzheimer’s as a cause of death. Alzheimer’s affects the part of the brain that regulates breathing, swallowing, the heart, etc. So your primary cause of death might be a heart attack or pneumonia, but is a result of the Alzheimer’s disease."

The study also found that the number of people with Alzheimer’s who die at home has risen from 14 percent to 25 percent.

Ball joins KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss San Diego County's ongoing efforts to help Alzheimer's patients and their families.

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