The health care costs of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) start to increase already one year before the diagnosis, shows a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

The differences in the health care costs between AD patients and non-AD patients were the greatest during six months following the diagnosis, with AD patients having 5,088 euros higher health care costs per person-year. After the first six months, the differences evened out. Two years after the diagnosis, the health care costs of AD patients stabilized at a level two times higher than that of non-AD patients.

The majority of the health care costs of AD patients, i.e. 78-84%, were caused by hospital care and only a fraction by drug therapy. Anti-dementia drugs initiated after the diagnosis explained the majority of the drug costs

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