A first-ever study on the occurrence of Alzheimer’s and dementia, broken down by county, has revealed that the east and southeastern United States have the highest prevalence of these diseases. The study provides valuable insight into the areas where education and assistance are needed throughout the nation.
Contrary to popular belief, larger cities like Fargo or Bismarck do not have the highest numbers of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a rural area in McIntosh County, North Dakota, has the greatest prevalence, making up 14.6% of cases.
The county with the lowest prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is Mountrail County, with only 9% of cases. This data was shared by Susan Parriott, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association: Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter.
According to Parriott, the states with the highest prevalence in the nation are primarily located in the south. This may be attributed to the diversity of these regions, with higher populations of Latinos and Blacks who are at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the larger populations in these southern states contribute to the higher prevalence numbers.
In North Dakota alone, there are approximately 15,000 individuals aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s disease. Recognizing the early signs of the disease, such as memory problems, can help individuals and their families better prepare for the challenges ahead.
Moving forward, officials will need to determine how to utilize this new information to target the communities with the greatest prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. This includes providing research, education, and resources to doctors and healthcare systems to improve diagnosis and support for affected individuals.
For resources specific to North Dakota, individuals can refer to the provided link.