Future Monetary Costs of Dementia in the United States Under Alternative Dementia Prevalence Scenarios

Published in:Journal of Population Ageing, Volume 8, Number 1-2 (March 2015), pages 101-112.doi: 10.1007/s12062-015-9112-4

Posted on RAND.org on October 04, 2017

by Michael D. Hurd, Paco Martorell, Kenneth M. Langa

Read More

Access further information on this document at Published in:Journal of Population Ageing

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Population aging will likely lead to increases is [in] health care spending and the ability of governments to support entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Dementia is a chronic condition that is especially pertinent because of its strong association with old age and because care for dementia is labor intensive and expensive. Indeed, prior research has found that if current dementia prevalence rates persist population aging will generate very large increases in health care spending for dementia. In this study we considered two alternative assumptions or scenarios about future prevalence. The first adjusts the prevalence projections using recent research that suggests dementia prevalence may be declining. The second uses growth hypertension, obesity and diabetes, and the relationship between dementia and these conditions to adjust future prevalence rates. We find under the first scenario that if the rates of decline in age-specific dementia rates persist, future costs will be much less than previous estimates, about 40% lower. Under the second scenario, the growth in those conditions makes only small differences in costs.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.