The WHAM Report:
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD)

Alzheimer’s is big like the sky. It is complicated like the universe. And it is all around us like both.

The National Institutes of Health provides about $2.4 billion per year for Alzheimer’s research. Most of us can’t really relate to such a big number.

So, let’s get this conversation going at eye-level, and where we can grasp it in our hands.

For each of the nearly 7 million people in the U.S. who currently have Alzheimer’s, we spend $342.57 per person per year on research to hold it at bay.

Here’s another way of looking at it: For every U.S. adult above 35, we spend about $13.50 per person on Alzheimer’s research.

That might sound reasonable at the outset – but when we dig a little deeper there are huge disparities that need to change.

Really, every woman gets $3.00 in research investment, and every man gets $24.50.

And yet – we all know a lot more women with Alzheimer’s. Twice as many, to be specific. And when we broaden into women affected by Alzheimer’s as caregivers, that 2:1 ratio of women to men impacted by Alzheimer’s grows even bigger.

More than 60% of ADRD caregivers are women. Nearly 19% of women Alzheimer’s caregivers had to quit work because of these responsibilities.

Women make up 52% of the population above 35, not to mention 66% of the nearly 7 million people living with Alzheimer’s. Yet in 2019, just 12% of the Alzheimer’s research budget went to projects specifically focused on women.

The economic costs of this puzzling disparity are real.

The economic costs of this puzzling disparity are real.

We Asked:

What are the impacts of accelerating investment in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research focused on women?

We Found:

ADRD research that focuses on women is more than good science, it’s a good investment. When we add more money, we get more results. Research focused on women brings a 224% return on investment – a higher economic rate of return than general research.

If we double the current Alzheimer’s research budget for women:

0
years of life reclaimed
0
years with ADRD eliminated
0
years of nursing home care saved

Can you imagine wiping out 6,500 years of Alzheimer’s Disease, and adding 16,000 years of improved quality of life to the economy, just by spending $6 on research for women instead of $3?

Doubling current funding for women’s ADRD research pays for itself three times over in economic returns. Adding just $300 million for women’s ADRD research adds back $930 million to our economy over thirty years.

When we double women’s ADRD research – spending $6 for each woman instead of $3, every $1 invested generates $3.24 in economic and societal value, through reducing healthcare costs and improving health and quality of life – a 124% return on investment.

We are also giving back 4,000 more years of life, and 13,000 quality life years to women, plus another 3,000 to men.

Can you imagine wiping out 6,500 years of Alzheimer’s Disease, and 16,000 years of its economic impacts?

How about eliminating 3,600 years people spend in nursing homes? Or gaining back 300 productive years of work for caregivers?

Just by spending $6.00 on research on women instead of $3.

Wouldn’t you spend $3.00 to buy those kinds of results?  These results are reachable.  They are attainable.  We can see these benefits for just a small investment.

Doubling NIH funding for women’s ADRD research pays for itself 3x over.

Investing $300 million for women’s ADRD research adds back $930 million to our economy.

Research focused on women brings a 224% return on investment.

Every $1 invested generates $3.24 in economic and societal value.

This small investment adds 16,000 years of quality of life improvements for both men and women.

For every dollar invested, we see a $1.24 direct savings in nursing home care costs.

Read the WHAM Report Alzheimer’s Disease Brief:

Without information on the potential return on investment for women’s health research, stakeholders lack a basis for altering research investments to improve knowledge of women’s health. In this report, the authors examine the societal cost impact of increasing research funding in Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease–related dementias and find that investing in women’s health research yields benefits beyond investing in general research.

Read the WHAM Report Alzheimer’s Disease Full Report:

WHAM Report: Societal Impact of Research Funding for Women’s Health in Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias [EXTENDED VERSION WITH TECHNICAL NOTES]

Without information on the potential return on investment for women’s health research, stakeholders lack a basis for altering research investments to improve knowledge of women’s health. In this report, the authors examine the societal cost impact of increasing research funding in Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease–related dementias and find that investing in women’s health research yields benefits beyond investing in general research.

Scroll to Top