Dementia: The Growing Crisis in West Virginia

Executive Summary
Overview of Dementia
Types of Dementia"
Prevalence of Dementia
Cost of Dementia
Risk Factors for Dementia
Prevention of Dementia
Diagnosis of Dementia
Treatment of Dementia
Diagnosis in Hospital Records
Dementia Mortality
Dementia Research

Hospitalization Rates by County of Residence

Mortality Rates by Type of Dementia and Gender

Dementia Mortality by County of Residence

Credits and Acknowledgements

Forgetting a name . . . misplacing the car keys . . . being unable to think of the right word. These used to be viewed as just a normal part of the aging process, having a "senior moment." In recent years, however, there has been an increased awareness, and fear, that such absentmindedness might instead be the beginning of a slow decline into dementia, or severe loss of mental function. Cases of dementia, and, in particular, Alzheimer's disease, have soared over the past few decades, to the point where most people now know of someone or have a family member with the illness. As the baby boomer generation ages, an avalanche of new cases is predicted, which will cause a catastrophic drain on the health care system and the families of dementia patients. It is imperative to meet the public health challenges this disease places on our society through research directed toward both treatment of existing disease and eventual primary prevention. This report seeks to present an overview of dementia and the burden it increasingly is imposing on the State of West Virginia.

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Published under the auspices of:

Joe Manchin III, Governor
State of West Virginia

Martha Yeager Walker, Secretary
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Chris Curtis, M.P.H., Acting Commissioner
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health

Catherine Slemp, M.D., M.P.H., Acting Medical Director
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health

Joe Barker, M.P.A., Director
Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion

Daniel M. Christy, M.P.A., Director
Health Statistics Center


Pubished in Hard Copy February 2005