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Americans fear Alzheimer's more than heart disease

12th May 2006

Americans fear Alzheimer's disease more than most other diseases, according to a new report.

A study by the MetLife Foundation found that adults in the US fear developing the disease more than stroke, diabetes or heart disease.

However, nine out of ten of those surveyed said they had taken no measures to prepare for its onset, with 58 per cent saying they had not yet made decisions as to who would care for their affairs should they develop Alzheimer's.

Sibyl Jacobson, president and CEO of the MetLife Foundation, commented: "Our survey clearly shows that although adults fear Alzheimer's and the devastating effects it has on individuals, families and communities, few have done anything to prepare for a disease that destroys a person's memory, personality and ability to function independently."

The disease is thought to affect ten per cent of those over the age of 65 and around half of all those above 85.

"The greatest risk factor in Alzheimer's is age, and, as Americans live longer, the threat of Alzheimer's will continue to increase," Ms Jacobson added.