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Five Percent of Seniors Report One or More Cognitive Disorders

January 27, 2011
by root
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Slightly over 5% 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 (AHRQ).

Seniors age 85 and older were the most likely to have reported one or more cognitive disorders (18.4%), compared to seniors ages 75 to 84 (6%) and seniors ages 65 to 74 (1.1%).

Other finding on elderly Americans age 65 and older in 2007 include:

· 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% and 4.9%, respectively) or seniors with more than a high school education (2.7%).

· Nearly 8% of poor seniors reported one or more cognitive disorders compared to 4.1% of middle and high income seniors reporting such a condition.

· Nearly 11% of seniors who had both Medicare and another type of supplemental public insurance reported one or more cognitive disorders, compared to 5% of seniors with Medicare only and 4.1% of seniors with Medicare and supplemental private insurance.

· Average annual healthcare 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.

The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which provides 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.

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Full report: Person Characteristics of the Elderly Reporting One or More Cognitive Disorders, 2007 (PDF format)

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