Alzheimer's Cases Increase In Illinois

March 05, 2019 - 4:36 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A new report shows a disturbing trend when it comes to cases of Alzheimer's disease in Illinois.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 5.8 million Americans have the disease, including 230,000 in Illinois.

The Illinois number has grown by 10,000 from last year, said Patrick Reedy, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter "It's also up by about 20,000 since 2015."

Reedy said the reason is simple.

"We have people that are living much longer than in the past. Also, there's a large generation of Baby Boomers entering an 'increased risk' age group as we move closer to the middle of the century,” he said. “It's a disease that affects older African-Americans two times more likely and Latinos at a higher rate, as well. There are some demographic aspects to the statistics nationally and locally."

In terms of prevention, Reedy urges more frequent and accurate cognitive assessments.

"It's really an epidemic that continues to grow, both nationally and right here in Illinois."