One in three seniors in the United States dies from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, according to a report published by the Alzheimer's Association on Tuesday.
"Today there are no Alzheimer's survivors. If you have Alzheimer's disease, you either die from it or die with it," said Harry Johns, president of the Alzheimer's Association.
"Now we that one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. Urgent meaningful action is necessary, particularly as more and more people age into greater risk for developing a disease that today has no cure and no way to slow or stop its progression," he added.
Alzheimer's is the sixth biggest cause of death in the United States with the disease reported as the underlying cause of 83,494 deaths in 2010, a rise of 39 per cent in 10 years according to official figures.
According to projections from the Alzheimer's Association, 450,000 people will die with the disease in 2013, with a substantial portion of those effected dying directly from the disease.
The study found that septuagenarians diagnosed with Alzheimer's faced a 61 per cent probability of dying within 10 years, against a 30 per cent probability for those not diagnosed with the disease.
Alzheimer's affects some 36 million people worldwide, including 5.5 million Americans, a number which could climb to 13.8 million by 2050, the association said.
The Alzheimer's Association said the cost of treating and providing long-term care to sufferers from the disease or other forms of dementia would reach US$203 billion (S$254 billion) in 2013, with Medicare and Medicaid paying for around US$142 billion of those costs.
Without medical breakthroughs from the disease, the cost is expected to increase 500 per cent by 2050 to reach US$1.2 trillion, the association forecast.