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Around half of Germans fear Alzheimer's disease
With around 1.2 million people affected, Alzheimer's today has the status of a common disease and a drastic increase in the number of people affected is expected in the coming decades. "Accordingly, Germans are also very concerned about being affected by Alzheimer's disease even in old age," reports the Alzheimer Research Initiative e.V. (AFI) based on a current representative survey by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy. However, only a minority of the population is interested in the actual personal Alzheimer's prognosis.
On behalf of AFI, the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach interviewed 1,507 people from the age of 16 on the topic of Alzheimer's and found that fear of the neurodegenerative disease concerns 45 percent of those questioned. "The concern among women is significantly greater (51 percent) than among men (39 percent)," reports the AFI. In addition, concern about Alzheimer's increases significantly if there is an Alzheimer's patient in the family (66 percent) or among friends (58 percent). Despite this concern about illness, many are rather uninterested in their own Alzheimer's prognosis.
Fear of Alzheimer's grows with age In general, advancing age is considered to be one of the most important risk factors for the occurrence of Alzheimer's. This is also reflected in the results of the current survey. The respondents showed increasing concern about the disease with increasing age. "While not even one in five of the 16 to 29-year-olds (18 percent) is concerned about their memory performance in old age, it is more than half (54 percent) for the 50 to 59-year-olds," reports AFI. The topic of Alzheimer's is even more present among the 60 to 69 year olds (62 percent) and among the over 70 year olds. 71 percent of them fear Alzheimer's disease.
The Alzheimer Research Initiative eV (AFI) claims that since 1995 it has been donating "research projects by committed Alzheimer researchers and providing free information material to the public." To date, 120 research projects have been supported with over 6.4 million euros and extensive information materials have been published . (fp)
Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixelio