Alzheimer's Cost Burden Much Heavier for Women Than Men

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The cost burden for women with Alzheimer’s disease is six times as high as it is for men with the neurocognitive disorder.

Zhou Yang, PhD, of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta and Allan Levey, MD, PhD, of the Emory University School of Medicine examined 2000-2010 data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey to conduct their study. The computed the costs of clinical visits paid by Medicare, long-term care paid by Medicaid, out-of-pocket costs for home or assisted living care, and the costs of informal care.

Alzheimer’s costs were based on three factors: the probability of developing Alzheimer’s, disease duration, and the required formal or informal care for  patients.

In a lifetime, women’s costs to treat Alzheimer’s are 1.5 times that of men, 2.2 that for Medicad costs and 5.8 times that for assisted living and home health care, the authors reported in the journal Women’s Health issues. The greater cost burden for females, they add, is a result of the informal care they deliver family member’s with Alzheimer’s, and the absence of Medicaid coverage for such caregiving.

“Public policy interventions that aim at curing or slowing the progress of AD, as well as those meeting the special home health care or long-term care need of the AD patients, will greatly benefit the welfare and economic status of women,” Yang said in a statement.

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Women bear six times the cost of Alzheimer's disease care than men do.

Women are not only at greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) when compared to men; per capita, they also bear six times the cost of AD care that men do, reports a study published today in the journal Women's Health Issues.

Authors Zhou Yang of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and Allan Levey of the Emory University School of Medicine used a lifetime perspective to calculate AD costs to women and men based on three factors: the probability of developing AD, the disease's duration, and the required formal or informal care for the patients.

Women's greater cost burden, they report, is largely due to the informal care they deliver to family members with Alzheimer's disease and the lack of Medicaid relief for caregiving.

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