Will our final years be golden? Mortality by Alzheimer's disease in the United States
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Alzheimer'ÃÂÃÂs disease (AD) is the fifth leading cause of death among the elderly. This study uses National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Multiple Cause of Death data for the United States for the years 1998 to 2002, examining the 9.5 million death records of all decedents of age 60 and over, and determines their incidence of AD. Seven independent variables are used: age, sex, race, ethnicity, marital status, education level and whether or not they lived in a metropolitan area. This study uses logistic regression, modeling five nested models, to determine the likelihood of mortality by AD and the direction of the relationship between AD and each of the variables. A Bayesian analysis, used to determine the best fit model, found that the full model was the best fit. The major findings of the study are that the incidence of AD increases significantly with increasing age in decedents aged 60-90. However, this peaks for decedents aged 85-89. Those who survive past age 90 begin to have a lesser likelihood of mortality by AD. With the exceptions of marital status and education, the hypotheses were supported. Females are more likely to die of AD than males. NonHispanic Whites are more likely to die of AD than Hispanics and NonHispanic Blacks. There is an increased risk of dying in a nursing home if one dies of AD. Future research as outlined above is needed to learn further about this fifth leading cause of mortality of those over age 60.
Davis, Mary Ann (2003). Will our final years be golden? Mortality by Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from