Friday, 6 March 2015

Many U.S. Households Include Someone With Failing Memory


About half of those with recall issues say they interfere with daily life

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Tara Haelle

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As many as one in eight U.S. households may have an adult with worsening memory loss or confusion, a new survey shows.

These symptoms suggest a potential risk of developing more serious memory and thinking problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, the survey authors said.

Further, a second study found that almost half of adults aged 45 and older who have experienced increasing memory loss or confusion reported that these problems have interfered with their daily life. And the youngest in this age group were the most likely to report these thinking declines.

"Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of [thinking] decline," said Lynda Anderson, a co-author of the first study and lead author of the second study. She is director of the Healthy Aging Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Noticing that others in the home are having memory problems is important because diagnoses of dementia and Alzheimer's disease are often missed or delayed, she added.

"Declines in [thinking] vary among people and can include changes in attention, memory, learning, planning, organizing, paying attention, activities of daily living and language capabilities," said Anderson. She added that these problems can "negatively affect the quality of life, personal relationships, and the capacity for making informed decisions about health care and other matters."

Both studies were conducted by the CDC and published March 5 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

The first study involved telephone surveys in more than 81,000 households in 13 states. The researchers asked an adult in the household whether anyone in the home had experienced confusion or memory loss that was happening more often or getting worse within the past 12 months.

The surveyor made it clear that the question referred to "difficulties in thinking or remembering that can make a big difference in everyday activities," not simply "forgetting your keys occasionally or the name of someone you recently met," Anderson noted.

Overall, nearly 13 percent of the households surveyed had an adult experiencing these problems. The researchers estimated that 4 million households in these states contained a member with worsening memory loss or confusion, possibly affecting more than 10 million people in total.

source : Many U.S. Households Include Someone With Failing Memory

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