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The Office for the Study of Aging (OSA) at the Arnold School of Public Health of the University of South Carolina (USC), in cooperation with the South Carolina (SC) Department of Health and Human Services, the SC Department of Mental Health, the USC School of Medicine, and the SC Office of Budget and Control, maintains a statewide Registry of SC residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or related disorders.

This report uses the abbreviation ADRD to indicate “Alzheimer's disease or related disorder.” The term “related disorders” refers to dementias associated with vascular disease, mixed dementia and with other medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Where we refer specifically to “Alzheimer’s disease” (AD), we limit the analysis to individuals with AD only.

Since January 1, 1988, the Registry has identified 183,251 cases of ADRD. During calendar year 2009, the Registry maintained information on 77,171 individuals alive on January 1, 2009.

Registry Goals: 

Maintain the most comprehensive and accurate state registry of ADRD in the nation 

Provide disease prevalence estimates to enable better planning for social and medical services 

Identify differences in disease prevalence among demographic groups 

Help those who care for individuals with ADRD 

Foster research into risk factors for ADRD

Registry Overview:

Of South Carolinians with diagnosed ADRD: 

63% have Alzheimer's disease 

15% have a dementia due to stroke 

22% have a dementia related to other chronic conditions 

31% live in an institution 

65% are women 

30% are African American 

41% of those with AD are 85 years or older

Trends of New Registry Cases:

The number of new cases added to the Registry has increased from 2004-2008 at an average of 2.9% per year. The greatest average yearly increase of 10.5% occurred in the age group of 50-64. These results suggest that, over the 5 year time period, the number of individuals diagnosed with ADRD has been the highest in what is considered a “younger” age group in the ADRD spectrum. This has important implications since the Baby Boomers will not have arrived at the age of 65 until 2011 and this report is based on data through 2008. For more details on these trends and others, see the report featured on page 7.

Other Activities of the OSA:

In addition to maintaining the Registry and conducting research using this valuable state resource, the OSA works to provide South Carolina’s older persons and their families with access to quality, reliable health and long term care service delivery systems. Specifically, OSA’s focus includes the following: 

Provide education on ADRD management 

Develop training on long term care issues 

Contribute technical assistance for programs for older South Carolinians 

Develop programs including the SC Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem 

Help to evaluate programs for older South Carolinians 

Conduct research on aging issues