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The Office for the Study of Aging in 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 Research and Statistics of the Budget and Control Board, 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 “related disorders” refer to dementias associated with vascular disease, mixed dementia and 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 101,813 cases of ADRD. During calendar year 2003, the Registry maintained information on 48,640 individuals alive on January 1, 2003.

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.

Population Prevalence of ADRD, South Carolina, 2003:

Based on the Registry and population estimates from the United States Census, 

8% of South Carolinians age 65 or over have ADRD.

27% of South Carolinians age 85 or over have ADRD. 

Alzheimer’s disease prevalence rates vary notably among SC counties. 

African Americans are at notably higher risk of an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis than are non-Hispanic whites. At ages 65 and older, for example, African American South Carolinians are about twice as likely to have ADRD as are non-Hispanic whites.

Registry Overview:

Of South Carolinians with diagnosed ADRD: 

64% have Alzheimer's disease. 

16% have a dementia due to stroke.  \

20% have a dementia related to other chronic conditions. 

38% live in a nursing facility. 

66% are women. 

33% are African American. 

38% of those with AD are 85 years or older.

South Carolina ADRD Projection:

Based on methods commonly used to estimate prevalence, the number of South Carolinians with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders will increase by 150% in the next fifteen years. (see Figure 1).

Other Activities of the Office for the Study of Aging:

In addition to maintaining the Registry and conducting research using this valuable state resource, the Office for the Study of Aging works to provide South Carolina’s older persons and their families with access to quality, reliable health and long term care service delivery systems. We: 

Provide education on ADRD management. 

Contribute technical assistance for programs for older South Carolinians. 

Help to evaluate programs for older South Carolinians. 

Conduct research on aging issues. 

Promote brain health.