That’s some consolation. Is dementia common?
Exact numbers are hard to come by. Losing a Million Minds, a 1987 government report, estimated between 2.5 million and 6.5 million people with dementia in the United States, but several factors indicate that current figures may be higher. At the time the report was published, the estimated number of Alzheimer’s cases in the United States was 2.5 million. In 1989, however, a landmark Harvard Medical School study raised that estimate to 4 milliona figure substantially higher than the lower range of the 1987 government estimate for all people with dementia. In addition, the 1987 report itself predicted a 60 percent increase in the number of people with dementia by the year 2000. That 60 percent increase would place the number of people with dementia at between 4 million and 10.4 million. And the figures from the Harvard study, when coupled with Census Bureau population estimates, indicate that the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease could reach 14 million by the middle of the twenty-first century.
So to answer your question, dementia is not only common, it is becoming increasingly more common as people live longer.