Coronavirus Led To Additional Deaths Due To Alzheimer's Disease

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Monday, November 16, 2020 - 11:08am
Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 1:13pm

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an uptick in the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. That’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the Alzheimer’s Association found that through the end of September, there have been roughly 31,000 additional deaths due to Alzheimer’s or other dementias. A similar trend can be seen in Arizona. Katie Skvarce is with the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

"There have been 1,168 more deaths from Alzheimer's and dementia in Arizona than expected. So we're looking at about a 32%, just over 32% increase, compared to the five-year average," Skvarce said. 

Reasons include a lack of testing in the early days of the pandemic and where the person lived, the virus disproportionately impacted people living in long-term care facilities. 

There have been 31,000 more deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias than would normally be expected nationwide. That’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association, which analyzed CDC data. In Arizona, there have been 1,100 more deaths than expected. 

While the coronavirus infected many older residents living in long-term care and led to their deaths, isolation also may have played a role. 

"Many families have shared with us that their loved ones in long-term care settings are struggling with the social lack of social engagement from their families and friends. So we know that has an adverse impact when they're not spending that quality time with their family," Skvarce said. 

Since mid-September, many facilities have opened their doors to family visits, which may lead to improvements in health outcomes. Skvarce said Arizona has one of the fastest growth rates for Alzheimer's in the country.

Coronavirus Disability