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Excerpts from the report by the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies - Dec. 2008

From the executive summary:

The Alzheimer’s disease death rate in Hamilton County is more than double the national rate. Age-adjusted death rates for Alzheimer’s disease were 49 per 100,000 in Hamilton County in 2006, versus a national rate of 22.9 in 2005. Compared to benchmark counties, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease were more than double the benchmark average and exceeded each of the other counties by anywhere from 70% to almost four times. (Benchmark county data is not age-adjusted.) In addition, while Alzheimer’s disease is seventh leading cause of death nation-wide, it is the fourth leading cause in Hamilton County. Since death from Alzheimer’s disease is widely considered to be underreported, it is unclear the extent to which higher mortality rates are due to better reporting or to an increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease.

   
From the body of the report:

The leading causes of death are similar to the national population for 2005 (the most recently available national data) with the exception of Alzheimer’s disease, which ranked as the seventh leading cause in the nation in 2005, as compared to the fourth leading cause in Hamilton County in 2006.

Hamilton County mortality rates are higher than national rates. In 2005, the most recent year for comparable county and national data, age-adjusted death rates in Hamilton County exceeded national rates by 13.7% overall and by anywhere from 6.8% to 46.3% for heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory disease.

Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, however, are more than double the national rate. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that the disease is widely underreported as a cause of death.11 It is unclear the extent to which higher mortality rates in Hamilton County are due to better reporting among area physicians or increases in the actual prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease.