Healthcare costs of dementia diseases before, during and after diagnosis: Longitudinal analysis of 17 years of Swedish register data

Persson S, Saha S, Gerdtham UG, Toresson H, Trépel D, Jarl J

This study examines health-care costs attributed to dementia diseases in the 10 years prior to, during, and 6 years after diagnosis.

Using administrative register data for people diagnosed with dementia (2010-2016) in southern Sweden (n = 21,184), and a comparison group without dementia, health-care costs over 17 years were examined using longitudinal regression analysis.

Average annual health-care costs per person were consistently higher before diagnosis in the dementia group (10 years before: Swedish krona (SEK) 2063, P < .005 and 1 year before: SEK8166, P < .005). At diagnosis, health-care costs were more than twice as high (SEK44,410, P < .005). Four to 6 years after diagnosis, there was no significant different in costs compared to comparators.

Excess health-care cost arise as early as 10 years before a formal diagnosis of dementia, and while there is a spike in cost after diagnosis, health-care costs are no different 4 years after. These findings question currently accepted assumptions on costs of dementia.

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Alzheimers Dement, 2022 Feb 21. Epub ahead of print.
DOI: 10.1002/alz.12619