California first lady Maria Shriver has released a new report as part of an effort to encourage the public and the government to be more responsive to research and funding needs for Alzheimer's disease, ABC News reports.
Shriver and the Alzheimer's Association collaborated on the report -- titled, "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's" -- which examines how the disease affects women.
The report features data from the Alzheimer's Association's 2010 Women and Alzheimer's Poll, which surveyed more than 3,100 individuals, including more than 500 caregivers (Francis, ABC News, 10/19).
The report found that:
- 5.3 million U.S. residents have Alzheimer's disease;
- 10 million U.S. women either have Alzheimer's disease or care for someone who has the condition;
- Women account for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. residents who have Alzheimer's disease; and
- Women account for about 60% of unpaid caregivers for family members with Alzheimer's (Wyckoff, "Shots," NPR, 10/19).
According to the report, primary caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease are 60% more likely to develop the condition or other forms of dementia, partially because of the emotional stress and physical exertion associated with caring for Alzheimer's patients (Chicago Sun-Times, 10/20).
The report notes that:
- 78% of U.S. adults said the government should invest in research and prevention efforts for Alzheimer's disease; and
- 54% said the government has a responsibility to provide financial assistance to families caring for people with the condition (United Press International, 10/15).
The report estimates that Alzheimer's disease costs businesses and the government about $300 billion annually (Chicago Sun-Times, 10/20).