2015 BRFSS Cognitive and Caregiver Data
One in nine Americans aged 45 and older are experiencing confusion or memory loss that is happening more often or is getting worse, but 56 percent have not talked to a health care professional about their worsening memory problems, according to data from the 2015 BRFSS survey in 33 states and D.C. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or another dementia is often long and intense: 59 percent of dementia caregivers have been providing care for at least two years while two-thirds provide care for 20 or more hours per week, according to data from the 2015 BRFSS survey in 24 states. Learn more about the data below.
Surveillance is an essential function of public health. It involves collecting data to better understand the extent of a problem and its impact, and to motivate policy makers to address the problem. Each year, every state conducts a public health survey through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
Recent work by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now enables states to collect data through the BRFSS on the impact of Alzheimer's disease using:
The BRFSS Cognitive Module provides demographic, geographic and socioeconomic data regarding subjective cognitive decline. The module asks about memory and cognitive abilities as well as the impact of any memory loss on daily living. Five states served as pilots for the module in 2009, and 22 states asked the questions in 2011. Another 23 states and the District of Columbia asked the questions in 2012, and 19 states and Puerto Rico asked the questions in 2013. Most recently, 35 states and territories used the Cognitive Module in 2015.
The BRFSS Cognitive Module was revised for use in the 2015 survey. Due to this, data may not be comparable across years.
- BRFSS Cognitive Module Status Map: 2015-2016
- BRFSS Cognitive Module Historical Status Map: 2011-2013
- Infographic on Cognitive Data from the 2015 BRFSS
- Infographic on Cognitive Decline Among African Americans from the 2015 BRFSS
Data from the 2012 BRFSS Cognitive Module
Data from the 2011 BRFSS Cognitive Module
CDC Reports on 2009 BRFSS Cognitive Impairment Pilot States Data:
"In public health, we can’t do anything without surveillance. That’s where public health begins."
– David Satcher,
former U.S. Surgeon General
- Report for Policy Makers
- Report for General Audiences
- California Report
- Florida Report
- Iowa Report
- Louisiana Report
The Caregiver Module provides data about caregivers and the challenges they face. This module asks about a care recipient's health problems and greatest care needs. It enables us to compare the experiences of Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers with caregivers of people with other conditions. In 2009, three states and the District of Columbia used the module while in 2010, five states asked the questions. Most recently, 24 states used the Caregiver Module in 2015.
The BRFSS Caregiver Module was revised for use in the 2015 survey. Due to this, data may not be comparable across years.
Data from the 2015 BRFSS Caregiver Module
Data from the 2011-2013 BRFSS Caregiver Module
Data from the 2009-2010 BRFSS Caregiver Module
- Report on Combined 2009 and 2010 Caregiving Data
- Report on 2010 BRFSS Caregiving Data
- BRFSS 2010 Caregiving Data Fact Sheet
- Connecticut 2010 Fact Sheet
- New Jersey 2010 Fact Sheet
- New Hampshire 2010 Fact Sheet
- Report on 2009 BRFSS Caregiving Data
Download the Surveillance Fact Sheet
Learn more about surveillance and how data from using these two BRFSS modules helps us better understand the impact of Alzheimer's.
For more information on Alzheimer's disease and public health, contact Molly French.