Wednesday, December 14, 2016

One in Nine Adults Experiencing Subjective Cognitive Decline

FY16 Advocacy Public Health News HeaderIn 2015, one in nine Americans aged 45 and older, experienced subjective cognitive decline (SCD) – that is, they reported experiencing increased confusion or worsening memory loss over the previous 12 months. And, those cognitive problems had a 
negative impact on everyday life – 40.5 percent had to give up household activities and chores due to their SCD, and 36.5 percent said that SCD interfered with their ability to work, volunteer, or engage in social activities. These data come from a new analysis – conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Aging Program – of the Cognitive Module from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Public Health Road Map Action Item M-02A growing body of evidence shows that SCD is one the earliest warning signs of future cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease. Individual fact sheets are now available for the 35 states and territories that used the Cognitive Module in their 2015 BRFSS surveys. With these new data, states can see the scope and burden of SCD as well as whether those individuals are talking to a health care provider about their memory problems.

We encourage you to download your state’s fact sheet not only for your own use, but to distribute to health officials, public health practitioners, and state policymakers. Tweet the fact sheet, link to it on your website, blog about it. Data are only useful when used to inform policy and systems change, and that can only happen if the data are widely distributed.

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