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Alzheimer's May Be Third Leading Cause of Death in America

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Alzheimer's disease may claim more lives than reports have previously indicated, perhaps resulting in more American deaths than any other cause besides heart disease and cancer.

The study was published earlier this week in the journal Neurology and determined that many reported deaths miss Alzheimer's disease as an underlying cause of death. The report, USA Today says, found that annual Alzheimer's death rates should be closer to 500,000 than the 85,000 or so counted by the government.

Heart disease and cancer each account for over 500,000 deaths each year.

Researchers estimated that 503,400 Americans over the age of 75 died of Alzheimer's in 2010. The data came from about 2,500 people over the age of 65.

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