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Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2013 Jun;28(4):384-92. doi: 10.1177/1533317513488911. Epub 2013 May 17.

The clinical and economic burden of newly diagnosed Alzheimer's disease in a medicare advantage population.

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  • 1Competitive Health Analytics, Inc, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.



Alzheimer's disease (AD) represents a serious public health issue affecting approximately 5.4 million individuals in the United States and is projected to affect up to 16 million by 2050. This study examined health care resource utilization (HCRU), costs, and comorbidity burden immediately preceding new diagnosis of AD and 2 years after diagnosis.


This study utilized a claims-based, retrospective cohort design. Medicare Advantage members newly diagnosed with AD (n = 3374) were compared to matched non-AD controls (n = 6748). All patients with AD were required to have 12 months of continuous enrollment prior to AD diagnosis (International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification [ICD-9] 331.0), during which time no diagnosis of AD, a related dementia, or an AD medication was observed. Non-AD controls demonstrated no diagnosis of AD, a related dementia, or a prescription claim for an AD medication treatment during their health plan enrollment. Medical and pharmacy claims data were used to measure HCRU, costs, and comorbidity burden over a period of 36 months (12 months pre-diagnosis and 24 months post-diagnosis).


The HCRU and costs were greater for AD members during the year prior to diagnosis and during postdiagnosis years 1 and 2 compared to controls. The AD members also displayed greater comorbidity than their non-AD counterparts during postdiagnosis years 1 and 2, as measured by 2 different comorbidity indices.


Members newly diagnosed with AD demonstrated greater HCRU, health care costs, and comorbidity burden compared to matched non-AD controls.


Alzheimer’s disease; comorbidity burden; cost of care; health care resource utilization; medicare

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