Complications

People with AD do not die from AD but from complications that result from the disease. The most common cause of death in AD is pneumonia. Difficulty swallowing increases the risk of inhaling foods and liquids into the lungs, which then may cause aspiration and pneumonia. The risk of falling is increased by disorientation, confusion, and declining motor function. Falls can lead to fractures and head injuries. Surgical intervention and immobilization also present risks for additional life-threatening complications in the elderly. Memory loss may result in fires from unattended stoves or burning cigarettes or malnutrition from "forgetting" to eat.

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