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Doctors don't tell half of Alzheimer's patients they have the disease, study finds

More than half of Americans with Alzheimer's do not learn of the diagnosis from their doctors, according to a new study from the Alzheimer's Association.

Only 45 percent of seniors with the disease or their caregivers report learning of the diagnosis from a health care provider, according to the study, which analyzed medical records and Medicare survey responses to ensure patients hadn't just forgotten what they'd been told. By contrast, 90 percent of those diagnosed with cancer or cardiovascular disease report hearing from a doctor about those conditions.

"This means that people are being robbed of the opportunity to make important decisions about their lives," Beth Kallmyer, the group's vice president of constituent services, told The Wall Street Journal.