Stigma concerns delay Alzheimer's diagnosis, survey finds

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Stigma about Alzheimer's disease can delay its diagnosis of for up to six years, a new study finds.

When people with Alzheimer's were concerned about the stigma, a diagnosis occurred on average 3.5 years after symptoms appear. The delay averaged six years when caregivers were similarly worried, according to a new survey from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, a national nonprofit organization.

The delay is serious because it ultimately hurts the management and treatment of the disease, said Erick J. Hall, CEO of the foundation.

The survey was based on interviews with a nationwide cross section of 539 U.S. adults, aged 18 or older, who are caregivers – currently caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. See more key survey findings at