Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Spring 3-30-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Adam Smiley

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Since 1999, Alzheimer’s disease has become more of a talking point in our society. This could be because death by Alzheimer’s disease has increased gradually over the years in the United States (NCHS, 2022). We hypothesized that mortality rates due to Alzheimer’s disease will increase as life expectancy rises. This is due to the fact that individuals under the age of fifty-five are highly unlikely to develop this disease. The dataset we examined and analyzed, Leading Causes of Death, comes from the National Center for Health Statistics and showcases the causes of death in each state in America from 1999 to 2017. The dataset includes the year, cause of death, amount of deaths, and the age-adjusted death rate in each individual state. By comparing the rate of Alzheimer’s related deaths from 1999 versus 2017 we see a clear increase, especially in the southeastern region of the United States. There could be several cultural, economic, and environmental factors at play causing this phenomenon, such as the average population age being older in this specific region. Death by Alzheimer’s disease is rapidly increasing across the United States. How can we implement psychological programs within our older population to prevent the onset of this disease in the U.S.?