Dementia on the decline

It’s always a nice surprise when unexpected good news hits the headlines. The other day, the New York Times reported that for reasons doctors don’t completely understand, rates of dementia are dropping.

“Despite fears that dementia rates were going to explode as the population grows older and fatter, and has more diabetes and high blood pressure, a large nationally representative survey has found the reverse. Dementia is actually on the wane. And when people do get dementia, they get it at older and older ages,” the newspaper wrote.

“The new study found that the dementia rate in Americans 65 and older fell by 24 percent over 12 years, to 8.8 percent in 2012 from 11.6 percent in 2000. That trend is ‘statistically significant and impressive,’ said Samuel Preston, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania who was not associated with the study.”

The future remains unclear — more people will live longer, and dementia remains the nation’s most expensive disease. But still, pretty interesting.

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