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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A new report shows that South Carolina led the nation in the percentage of its population that died of Alzheimer’s disease.

The report from the National Alzheimer’s Association shows that 2,453 South Carolinians died of the disease in 2015, the most recent year with complete totals, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

South Carolina ranked 8th in 2014.

About 89,000 people in South Carolina have Alzheimer’s Disease. Projections estimate that number will increase to 120,000 by 2025.

One reason South Carolina’s rate is so high may be partly because of a rapidly aging population. About 17 percent of the state’s residents are 65 or older.

“As we are seeing the silver tsunami crest, more people are getting diagnosed,” said Taylor Wilson, director of communications for the South Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mindi Spencer, an associate professor with the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies says the state has recently improved its recording of Alzheimer’s as a primary cause of death. She says that’s probably why the state leads the nation.

“It’s bad news, but it’s news that we needed to know,” Spencer she said.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, although it may take years to progress.

“Unfortunately, the disease will eventually win out,” said Dr. Nicholas Milano, a neurologist with the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.


Information from: The Post and Courier,