(CBS) “The Early Show” began a three-part series called “Alzheimers, a National Crisis” on Wednesday. And in advance of a national report card on Alzheimer’s to be released Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill, the Alzheimer’s Association gave “The Early Show” an exclusive look at the staggering numbers of people affected by the disease. The report shows the number of Americans hit with Alzheimer’s will increase from 5.1 million today to 13.5 million in 2050. And the costs of the disease will soar from $172 billion to $1.08 trillion.
Rob Egge, vice president of public policy at the Alzheimer’s Association, said on “The Early Show” the nation is on track to having Alzheimer’s be the “defining disease” of the baby boomer generation.
He said the greatest risk factor is age.
“If you’re over 65, you have a one in eight chance of having Alzheimer’s, but if you’re 85, you have almost a one in two chance.”
He added, “We have an aging society. The baby boomer generation has been moving along. It’s just entering retirement, so we know where this is going.”