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Dementia costs top those for heart disease or cancer, study finds
Date:4/4/2013

ind new treatments and to provider improve care for this with dementia. The law also requires that the financial costs of dementia be tracked.

The new study is based on findings from the Health and Retirement Study, an ongoing survey of individuals in the United States age 51 and older that began in 1992, and is supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. A subset of that study group received a detailed in-home clinical assessment for dementia as part of the Aging, Demographics and Memory Study, a nationally representative examination of dementia in the United States.

The survey included an assessment of whether people could perform daily activities such as dressing themselves and preparing their own meals. Participants also were asked about their out-of-pocket health care expenses for services such as nursing home stays, home health care and other medical services. Other questions asked whether they received help from others for their daily living activities. Medicare spending information was linked to medical claims for most participants.

The study estimates that 14.7 percent of Americans aged 71 or older suffered from dementia in 2010, a number somewhat lower than what has been found in other, smaller studies.

The total economic cost of dementia in 2010 was estimated to be $109 billion for care purchased, and $159 billion to $215 billion when the monetary value of informal care is included. The range of estimates reflects two different methods researchers used to place a value on unpaid care. The per-person cost of dementia was $56,290 or $41,689. Medicare paid about $11 billion of dementia-related costs.

Researchers say the main component of the dementia costs is for institutional and home-based long-term care rather than medical services. The cost of nursing home care, and formal and informal home care comprise 75 percent to 84 percent of dementia costs.

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Contact: Warren Robak
media@rand.org
310-451-6913
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

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