Slightly over over 5 percent of the nearly 39 million Americans age 65 and older in 2007 reported one or more cognitive disorders, such as senility or dementia, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Seniors age 85 and older were the most likely to have reported
one or more cognitive disorders (18.4 percent), compared to seniors ages
75 to 84 (6 percent) and seniors ages 65 to 74 (1.1 percent).
AHRQ found that for elderly Americans age 65 and older in 2007:
- Seniors with less than a high school education were more
likely to have reported one or more cognitive disorders than seniors
that were high school graduates (8.6 percent and 4.9 percent,
respectively) or seniors with more than a high school education (2.7
- Nearly 8 percent of poor seniors reported one or more
cognitive disorders compared to 4.1 percent of middle and high income
seniors reporting such a condition.
- Nearly 11 percent of seniors who had both Medicare
and another type of supplemental public insurance reported one or more
cognitive disorders, compared to 5 percent of seniors with Medicare only
and 4.1 percent of seniors with Medicare and supplemental private
- Average annual health care expense for seniors reporting one
or more cognitive disorders totaled $15,549 a year, compared to $9,019
for seniors not reporting any cognitive disorders.
AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of
health care for all Americans. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers
summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a
detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans,
the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and
how they are paid. For more information, go to: Person Characteristics of the Elderly Reporting One or More Cognitive Disorders, 2007 .
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