TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Richard J. Codey and Senate Health Committee Chair Joseph F. Vitale that would allow Alzheimer’s disease to be listed as a secondary cause of death on a death certificate when appropriate was signed into law today.
“I watched as Alzheimer’s took over my father’s life, and I am committed to efforts that could spare others from experiencing that kind of devastation to a love one,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex and Morris). “Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the only disease among the top ten causes without an effective means of prevention, treatment, or cure. We need to act now.”
The law (S-2961) clarifies that Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders may be listed as a secondary cause of death on a death certificate when the deceased person had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it is determined that Alzheimer’s was a significant contributing cause of his or her death.
“Recordkeeping is an important part of data analysis. By capturing this data, we can expand our understanding of the growing Alzheimer’s population in New Jersey and use that knowledge to shape future health care policy,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex). “By knowing who is being affected and to what extent, we can also focus our efforts on finding effective prevention and targeted treatment methods.”
It is estimated that 5.2 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. At the current pace, the number of individuals with the disease is expected to reach 16 million by 2050 in the United States and over 115 million globally.
“Alzheimer’s disease places enormous emotional, financial and physical strain on families who are caring for their loved ones and cannot be ignored,” added Senator Codey. “Efforts that support strong and sustained research and can lead to a better understanding of the disease, who it is affecting, and to what extent requires our consideration. I am pleased the Governor signed this bill into law.”
The law takes effect immediately.