12.7% increase in confusion, memory loss and functional difficulties in US adults 60 and older.

A recent Morbidity and Mortality Report found increased confusion, memory loss and associated functional difficulties among US adults, 6o years and older. What struck me most about this report was that functional difficulties were significantly higher among adults aged 60–64 years than those who were 65+.  And, there is a direct correlation here to the sharp rise in US suicide rates. For women, the largest increase was seen in those ages 60 to 64, among whom rates increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.

From the Morbidity and Mortality Report:

To estimate the prevalence of self-reported increased confusion or memory loss and associated functional difficulties among adults aged ≥60 years, CDC analyzed data from 21 states. The results indicated that 12.7% of respondents reported increased confusion or memory loss in the preceding 12 months. Among those reporting increased confusion or memory loss, 35.2% reported experiencing functional difficulties.

Among those reporting increased confusion or memory loss, significant differences in the percentage with functional difficulties were found among the same demographic groups, although in some cases the patterns differed. For example, the percentage with functional difficulties was significantly higher among adults aged 60–64 years (44.7%) compared with 65–74 years (29.0%) and 75–84 years (32.6%).

Among persons reporting increased confusion or memory loss, those with functional difficulties were significantly more likely than those without functional difficulties to report needing help (81.0% compared with 38.2%). In addition, those who reported functional difficulties were more likely to report being unable to work (32.8% compared with 9.6%).

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