• Medical Costs Increase For Dementia Patients

JOURNALISTS: Mayo Clinic is presenting several abstracts at the American Academy of Neurology 2012 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.  Mayo experts are available for comment.  Contact: Brian Kilen 507-284-5005 (days) 507-284-2511 (evenings) newsbureau@mayo.edu.

Medical costs rise significantly as patients move from normal cognition through mild cognitive impairment to full-blown dementia:

Researchers studied 3,591 patients ages 70 to 89 categorized into four groups: normal, mild cognitive impairment, newly discovered dementia and prevalent dementia. Mean medical care costs rose from $6,042 for people in the normal group to $11,678 per year for those with prevalent dementia. Compared to normal persons, annual costs were an average of $859 higher for persons with mild cognitive impairment; and compared to persons with mild cognitive impairment were an average $4,457 higher for persons with dementia. 

"Data about medical costs across the full range of cognitive decline are essential for identifying cost-effective strategies to postpone and prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease," says co-author Cynthia Leibson, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic epidemiologist. "Building on these data, we next will consider nursing home costs associated with dementia and identify the risk factors that underlie the differences between individual patients and among cognitive categories."

Click here for news release highlighting four Mayo Clinic studies being presented this week at AAN on dementia, body cooling, stroke and resident shift changes. 

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