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Dementia (London). 2019 Mar 25:1471301219837776. doi: 10.1177/1471301219837776. [Epub ahead of print]

The economic cost of dementia: A systematic review.

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Health Economics Research Group, Department of Economics, The University of Cantabria and IDIVAL, Santander, Spain.
Neurology Unit, Valdecilla Hospital, IDIVAL, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain.
Faculty of Nursing, University of Cantabria. Nursing Research Group IDIVAL, Santander, Spain.


The purpose of this article is to analyse the available literature describing the economic burden of dementia and to compare costs between studies examining cost drivers. To shed light on this field, a systematic review is performed using PubMed, the Cochrane Library and Web of Science. An eight-year retrospective horizon was considered until 25 May 2018. Several papers were obtained from the database search (n = 23), being others (n = 3) identified through other sources (hand-searching) because we did not detect it through the three databases. The cost estimates were compared between three perspectives: state/publicly funded health services, third-party/private sector/not-for-profit organisations and patient and family and/or societal. The estimated total annual cost per person with dementia in Europe is on average €32,506.73 (n = 10), whereas for the United States, it gets €42,898.65 (n = 2). Furthermore, differences are appreciated by type of costs. Besides, differences by severity groups are also considered. Overall, the higher the severity the higher the associated costs. Dementia imposes a huge economic burden. The figures here presented provide a good framework to quantify these costs for both, economic experts and researchers, and policy decision makers.


dementia; direct and indirect costs; economic burden; severity groups; systematic review


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