At least 15,000 more Americans have died in recent months from Alzheimer's disease and dementia to the contrary, health officials believe, pointing out how the coronavirus pandemic has claimed more fatalities than official figures. have shown.
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As Covid-19 devastated older Americans this spring, often running through nursing homes, the deadly outbreaks exacerbated the devastation of Alzheimer's and other forms of degenerative brain disorders that are common among elderly residents of nursing homes. long-term care.
Approximately 100,000 people died of Alzheimer's and dementia from February to May, estimate the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although not all additional deaths were directly caused by the coronavirus, that death rate is 18% higher than the average of these disorders in recent years.
The death toll began to rise sharply in mid-March, and by mid-April, an estimated 250 additional people with some form of dementia died each day, according to CDC estimates.
Some of the deaths were likely caused by Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, but were not counted as such on death certificates, according to the CDC. Health experts believe that the lack of available evidence, especially at the start of the pandemic, contributed to the decrease in deaths attributed to Covid-19.
But some of the additional deaths this year likely represent collateral damage, according to Robert Anderson, head of the mortality statistics arm at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. People with advanced Alzheimer's and dementia are often in poor health, dependent on consistent routines and close attention from family and other caregivers, but are vulnerable to disruption.
"It's a fall, and it sets everything in motion. It's a fluid-free day, it dehydrates and triggers a chain of events," said Nicole Fowler, associate director of the Center for Aging Research at Indiana University. "It is surprising how little it really takes to alter your environment."
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