The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study of aging, a participant of the worldwide Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), performed (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) scans in 177 healthy controls (HC), 57 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects, and 53 mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. High PiB binding was present in 33% of HC (49% in ApoE-epsilon4 carriers vs 21% in noncarriers) and increased with age, most strongly in epsilon4 carriers. 18% of HC aged 60-69 had high PiB binding rising to 65% in those over 80 years. Subjective memory complaint was only associated with elevated PiB binding in epsilon4 carriers. There was no correlation with cognition in HC or MCI. PiB binding in AD was unrelated to age, hippocampal volume or memory. Beta-amyloid (Abeta) deposition seems almost inevitable with advanced age, amyloid burden is similar at all ages in AD, and secondary factors or downstream events appear to play a more direct role than total beta amyloid burden in hippocampal atrophy and cognitive decline.