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Report: Doctors skittish of revealing Alzheimer's diagnosis
Mar. 25, 2015 5:00 am, Updated: Mar. 25, 2015 11:53 am
Someone develops Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds in the United States, according to the Alzheimer's Association. But a new report found that less than half of those with the disease were given the diagnosis by a doctor.
The report, put out Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association, found that those with Alzheimer's or their caregivers were more likely to learn of the diagnosis only after the disease had become more advanced, often because doctors did not want to cause the patient emotional distress. Doctors sometimes skirt the issue, officials said, telling patients only more broadly that they have dementia.
'These disturbingly low disclosure rates in Alzheimer's disease are reminiscent of rates seen for cancer in the 1950s and '60s — when even mention of the word 'cancer' was taboo,' said Beth Kallmyer, vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer's Association, in a statement.