STATCAST – Week of June 3, 2019

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and Rip Current Awareness Week


June is “Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.” Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death for all Americans, and ranks 3rd among leading killers for Americans ages 85 and over. Alzheimer’s also ranks 5th among leading causes of death for Americans age 65 and over. Recent vital statistics from NCHS documented that there were nearly 262,000 dementia-related deaths nationwide in 2017, and fewer than half of those deaths were attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. With a growing older population in the U.S., Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will continue to pose a major public health challenge.

Younger Americans face their own unique set of safety and health risks, particularly in the summer months. This week is “Rip Current Awareness Week,” and while NCHS does not have specific data on deaths related to rip currents, the agency does have quite a bit of data on drowning, including “deaths from drowning in natural water.”   Over 1,600 young people ages 15 thru 24 died in drowning incidents in natural water over a five-year period thru 2017. But these drowning deaths occur at all age levels, and some age groups have had nearly as many deaths over this recent five-year period. For example, there were over 1,200 deaths among adults ages 25-34, and over 1,000 deaths in each of the following age groups: 35-44, 45-54, and 55-64.