New cases of leukemia show up most often in the elderly population, notes the National Cancer Institute. Between 2007 and 2011, approximately 70 percent of new cases were diagnosed in people 55 and older, with 53 percent happening to those 65 and older. The median age for diagnosis is 66.
Leukemia is the sixth leading cancer-related cause of death in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Not only are leukemia cases more common in the elderly, but the disease is also fatal for the elderly at higher rates. The median age for a patient who passes away as a result of leukemia is 75. Between 2007 and 2011, 85.6 percent of all deaths from leukemia happened to people 55 and older, and 72.5 percent happened to people 65 and older.
As of 2015, the prognosis for leukemia patients appears to be improving, notes the National Cancer Institute. Between 2002 and 2011, new leukemia diagnoses went up by an average of 0.2 percent annually, while death rates dropped by an average of 1 percent each year. The five-year relative survival rate increased from 33.1 percent in 1975 to 60.8 by 2006, reflecting patients still alive in 2011. In 2014, estimates included 52,380 new leukemia cases and 24,090 leukemia-related deaths, reports National Cancer Institute.