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It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick by Greg Gibson

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Alzheimer’s on the March

The generation affectionately known as the Baby Boomers may yet go down in history as Generation A, the top of the letter A standing for that great pyramid of aging boomers destined to suffer more from Alzheimer’s disease than any generation in history. The statistics are stark: more than 65,000 deaths a year, five million Americans with Alzheimer’s currently, that number set to nearly quadruple by midcentury and to be dwarfed by the worldwide burden in the year 2100.

The probability of contracting Alzheimer’s doubles every three years after the age of 65. At retirement, only one percent of people are afflicted, but five percent have it in their early seventies, the fraction rises to one-quarter by the early eighties, ...

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