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Americans think Alzheimer's falls behind in financial support 'because it affects older people'

NEW YORK, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- According to the latest YouGov Omnibus survey nearly half of Americans (47%) say Alzheimer's attracts less financial support than other diseases because it generally affects older people. 51% of Americans who know somebody with the disease agree. 

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44% of people who do know an Alzheimer's sufferer say the disease lacks funding because people accept the disease as a natural part of growing old. 28% of Americans – regardless of whether or not they know a sufferer – say it is because it is difficult to imagine the suffering caused by Alzheimer's without experiencing it first hand.

More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease today and currently, Alzheimer's lags behind other diseases in terms of research spending. In 2012, funding for Alzheimer's from the National Institutes of Health was around $450m annually, compared to $4.3bn on heart disease, and $5.8bn for cancer, according to the US Alzheimer's Association.

Seth Rogen Speech to Congress

In a recent speech to Congress, actor and comedian Seth Rogen spoke out in support of legislation to increase federal funding for the disease, but only two Senators stayed for him to finish the presentation. 

  •       55% of people who know someone with Alzheimer's say the speech was poorly attended because the disease is not a priority in the US.
  •       38% of people who do know a sufferer, thought senators were being disrespectful

Rogen criticized the "silence that the Alzheimer's community has been facing for decades," saying that "it needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs."

Just 24% of the nation had heard about Rogen's speech, compared with 26% among Americans who know someone with Alzheimer's. Younger respondents are more likely to have heard of the Knocked Up star's speech – 34% of 18-34 year olds, compared to 18% among Americans aged 55 and over.

Experience of Alzheimer's Increases Fear of Alzheimer's

Developing Alzheimer's is the greatest fear of reaching old age for 14% of the population. 24% of the nation says they do not fear reaching old age at all, while 23% of Americans think not having enough money to live comfortably is their greatest worry as the years advance.

Alzheimer's is more of a concern among those Americans who personally know someone suffering from the disease.

Whereas 11% of people who don't know anyone with Alzheimer's said the disease was their greatest fear of growing old, this increased to 18% among Americans who do know someone. People who don't know an Alzheimer's sufferer are also more likely to say they don't fear old age (28% say they have no single greatest fear, compared to 17% among people who do know an Alzheimer's sufferer).

Older Americans are more likely to know a person suffering from the disease, with 48% among people aged 55 and over saying they know someone with Alzheimer's, compared to 26% among 18 to 34 year olds and 35 to 54 year olds.

For further information and full survey tables: http://research.yougov.com/news/2014/03/15/alzheimers-falls-behind-financial-support-because-/

Note on Methodology

Total sample size was 1119 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th - 10th March 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

About YouGov 

YouGov is an international full-service research and consulting company, which has pioneered the use of technology to collect higher quality, in-depth data for companies, governments, and institutions so that they can better serve the people that sustain them.   www.research.yougov.com

Media Contact: Jenny Hall, YouGov, 212 724 3040, [email protected]

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SOURCE YouGov

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