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Am J Manag Care. 2009 Aug;15(8):481-8.

Burden of Alzheimer's disease and association with negative health outcomes.

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  • 1College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0202, USA.



To examine the association of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with common chronic conditions, acute care events, and risk of hospitalization.


Retrospective matched cohort analysis.


Community-dwelling subjects with a diagnosis of and/or medication for AD were matched to subjects without AD based on age, sex, and geographic region. Administrative claims from commercially insured health plans for medical and pharmacy services provided from January 1, 2000, to March 31, 2006 (inclusive) were analyzed. The Deyo Charlson Index (DCI) was used to assess the number of chronic conditions. The outcomes of interest were risk of fractures and hospitalization.


Among 5396 persons with AD and a matched cohort of 5396 persons without the condition, subjects with AD were more likely to have a diagnosis for any of the DCI components, had a higher rate of fractures (17.7% vs 7.9%, P <.00) and other urgent medical events (eg, pneumonia 14.0% vs 6.3%, P <.00), and were more likely to be hospitalized (odds ratio = 1.7; 95% confidence interval = 1.5, 1.9). There were significant differences in the medication use between the 2 groups, with the use of psychotics/tranquilizers 9-fold higher among persons with AD.


Persons with AD have higher odds of experiencing a fracture, being hospitalized, and requiring other acute care medical services than those without AD. The disease also is associated with a higher prevalence of common chronic conditions.

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