Dementia care cost is projected to double by 2040

A new study reports the cost of treating Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia at $109 billion, making it more expensive to society than either cancer or heart disease, according to an article in

The study, which appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, also estimates that costs will more than double in the next 27 years, reaching $259 billion by 2040.

The same study puts the estimated cost of treating heart disease at $102 billion, and cancer treatment at $77 billion.

The cost of formal care comes to an yearly average of $33,329 for each patient with dementia. Both those average costs, and the number of patients suffering from dementia, are forecast to rise in coming years.

Robert Egge, vice president for public policy for the Alzheimer's Association, said in the news report that the study does a good job bringing to light just how expensive the disease is for society.

"It's expensive because of how long people live with the disease, and the intense care that's required as they progress further and further into Alzheimer's," he said.

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia