Economic Burden, Mortality, and Institutionalization in Patients Newly Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease

Christopher M. Black, Howard Fillit, Lin Xie, Xiaohan Hu, M. Furaha Kariburyo, Baishali M. Ambegaonkar, Onur Baser, Huseyin Yuce, Rezaul K. Khandker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: Current information is scarce regarding comorbid conditions, treatment, survival, institutionalization, and health care utilization for Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Objectives: Compare all-cause mortality, rate of institutionalization, and economic burden between treated and untreated newly-diagnosed AD patients. Methods: Patients aged 65-100 years with =1 primary or =2 secondary AD diagnoses (ICD-9-CM:331.0] with continuous medical and pharmacy benefits for =12 months pre-index and =6 months post-index date (first AD diagnosis date) were identified from Medicare fee-for-service claims 01JAN2011-30JUN2014. Patients with AD treatment claims or AD/ADrelated dementia diagnosis during the pre-index period were excluded. Patients were assigned to treated and untreated cohorts based on AD treatment received post-index date. Total 8,995 newly-diagnosed AD patients were identified; 4,037 (44.8%) were assigned to the treated cohort. Time-to-death and institutionalization were assessed using Cox regression. To compare health care costs and utilizations, 1 : 1 propensity score matching (PSM) was used. Results: Untreated patients were older (83.85 versus 81.44 years; p < 0.0001), with more severe comorbidities (mean Charlson comorbidity index: 3.54 versus 3.22; p < 0.0001). After covariate adjustment, treated patients were less likely to die (hazard ratio[HR] = 0.69; p < 0.0001) and were associated with 20% lower risk of institutionalization (HR = 0.801; p = 0.0003). After PSM, treated AD patients were less likely to have hospice visits (3.25% versus 9.45%; p < 0.0001), and incurred lower annual all-cause costs ($25,828 versus $30,110; p = 0.0162). Conclusion: After controlling for comorbidities, treated AD patients have better survival, lower institutionalization, and sometimes fewer resource utilizations, suggesting that treatment and improved care management could be beneficial for newly-diagnosed AD patients from economic and clinical perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Medicare
  • institutionalization
  • mortality


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