An estimated 74,000 Oklahomans are living with Alzheimer's, and that number is only expected to grow, according to a report released by the Alzheimer's Association.
That number represents a 19 percent increase from 2000, when 62,000 people in Oklahoma were living with Alzheimer's.
By 2020, the association estimates that 85,000 Oklahomans will have Alzheimer's, and by 2025, that number is expected to increase to 96,000.
In the United States, an estimated 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease, including at least 800,000 who live alone, according to the report.
Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the nation, according to the report.
Thus far, there is no cure for Alzheimer's, nor is there a way to prevent it or slow the disease.
“With aging baby boomers and the nation facing unprecedented economic challenges, it is more important than ever for America to deal with the Alzheimer's crisis,” Mark Fried, CEO of the Alzheimer's Association's Oklahoma and Arkansas Chapter, said in a statement.
Randle Lee, regional director of the association's central Oklahoma office, said the Legislature in 2009 created a state plan for Alzheimer's. Oklahoma is one of the few states to have done this.