AlzU Blog

Quick Alzheimer's Prevention Pearl: AD Caregiving Increases Health Risks for Caregivers

AD Wisdom Pearl #7

Over 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) today.  AD is the 6th leading cause of death, and the ONLY disease listed in the top 10 that has no cure.  In addition, over 15 million family members and friends provide daily care for people with AD and other types of dementia in the U.S.  An alarming statistic, related to AD, is the rate of high risk for health problems that these caregivers incur—many of which are contributing factors for AD (such as anxiety and depression). 

One study conducted in the providence of Ontario, Canada, aimed at evaluating mental health status, disability, and physical and mental health of informal caregivers under age 65. The Ontario Health Survey included diagnoses from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  Caregivers and non-caregivers alike were evaluated for the presence of physical illnesses, disability, psychiatric disorders, as well as the use of mental health services.  Factors such as, sex, age, employment status, and economic conditions of study participants were investigated as part of the study. 

Study Results

Study results indicated that caregivers had a 6.3% higher rate of anxiety disorders (such as depression) compared to 4.2% in non-caregivers).  When caregivers were evaluated for other mental illness symptoms, 17.5% were found to have higher rates of anxiety than non-caregivers—who only experienced a 10.9% rate.  Caregivers were also discovered to employ mental health services at twice the rate of non-caregivers. 

Study Conclusion

The increase in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, disability, and health related disorders among caregivers were found to be higher than that of non-caregivers.  As the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease continues to increase, so too do the health and mental health risks of those who care for them.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s caregiving, and Alzheimer’s prevention & treatment, join today

Why Join?

Alzheimer's Universe has been created by medical experts to help learn the latest about AD diagnosis, treatment & prevention

Sign Up

Prevention & Treatment

Learn about the latest tips used to help reduce AD risk, delay onset of symptoms, and how to manage AD using a comprehensive approach

Join Now

Learn More

Click on the button below to learn about why Alzheimer's Universe was created, how it works, and what to expect after joining

Learn More

As Seen On:

The Today Show

Share with friends and family: