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WEBMD AND SHRIVER MEDIA SURVEY SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON OUR UNDERSTANDING OF AND RESPONSE TO THE GROWING ALZHEIMER’S EPIDEMIC.

The majority of respondents are aware of Alzheimer’s disease but have not taken steps to learn about their personal risk or to prepare for its associated financial burden, according to the results of a new WebMD and Shriver Media survey. The findings are part of the newly released WebMD and Shriver Report Snapshot: Insight into Alzheimer’s Attitudes and Behaviors, a comprehensive look at our conflicted feelings about the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented or cured.  The survey also finds that most people do not understand who is at greatest risk for diagnosis ­ with just one-third correctly reporting that Alzheimer’s afflicts more women than men, or that the disease more often strikes African-Americans and Hispanics than whites.

Despite a majority of respondents (78%) who said they know or have known someone with Alzheimer’s ­ and nearly 1 in 5 (18%) who have cared for someone with Alzheimer’s ­ many acknowledged that they have not taken steps to assess their own risk of getting the disease or to prepare for the financial implications of becoming a caregiver.