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Arizona had highest self-reporting of confusion, memory loss in survey of 18 states

brain scans of Alzheimer's patients
The Noble Study/ADCS
Various brain scans of Alzheimer's patients.
Coverage of aging is supported in part by AARP Arizona

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control has found that Arizonans age 45 and older have self-reported signs of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss. And they are the earliest warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Not all of the individuals surveyed will go on to develop Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The CDC analyzed data from the 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is administered by state health departments. Arizona was among 18 that participated.

"In Arizona 15% of those aged 45 and older report, they are experiencing confusion or memory loss that is happening more often or is getting worse," said Tory Roberg, the director of government affairs for the Alzheimer's Association in Phoenix. "This is what we call subjective cognitive decline. What's striking about that is that of the 18 states who participated, Arizona is number one."

The survey also found that 44% of those reporting symptoms had not talked to a health-care professional.

"Some of these individuals have even started to have difficulties as a result of their memory problems," she explained.

More than 80% of adults experiencing subjective cognitive decline have at least one other chronic condition like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Arizona has the fastest growth rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the country.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.
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