chapter  26
22 Pages

Prevention Strategies for Alzheimer’s Disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marı´a M. Corrada and Claudia H. Kawas

In the past century, life expectancy has increased more than 27 years. As the number of elderly

persons has dramatically increased, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has become one of the major public

health problems in the United States and the entire developed world. The “prevalence and

malignancy of AD,” as described in a two-page editorial written in 1976 by Dr. Robert Katzman (1),

has become well known to physicians as well as the lay public. In the editorial, Katzman estimated

the prevalence and mortality due to AD, and placed AD as a leading cause of death in the United

States. Hebert has shown that the impact of AD will be ever more dramatic over the next 50 years as

the numbers of very elderly in the population rise at an accelerated rate (2). Projecting age-specific

prevalence data for AD to the population distributions obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, there

were 4.5 million cases of AD in the United States in the year 2000 and there will be 13.2 million in

the year 2050.