Alzheimer's deaths rise 54% in 18 years; more patients die at home

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Alzheimer's deaths rise 54% in 18 years. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on May 25, 2017. (WPVI)

Researchers say as the baby boomer generation ages, we're seeing more people diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dying from the disease.

And U.S. health officials say 1 in 4 Alzheimer's deaths are now occurring at home - a startling increase that marks a shift away from hospitals and nursing homes.

The number of deaths jumped more than 54 percent from 1999 to 2014.

Over 15 years, Alzheimer's deaths in hospitals, nursing homes or other long-term care facilities shrank from more than 80 percent to 60 percent.

Meanwhile, those dying at home rose from 14 percent to 25 percent.

Experts say it's not clear why the shift is happening and say more research is needed.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that's most common in the elderly.

It affects more than 5-million Americans, and is the nation's sixth leading cause of death. There's no known cure.

Doctors say that number is growing and we need to boost the number of services available to help families.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the data Thursday.

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