Racial and Ethnic Difference in Dementia Prevalence and Incidence: Insights From Linked Health Care Claims and Survey Data Sources

Yi Chen , University of Southern California
Julie M. Zissimopoulos, University of Southern California
Bryan Tysinger, University of Southern California

INTRODUCTION: Medicare claims data may be a rich data source for tracking population dementia rates. Insufficient understanding of completeness of diagnosis across racial/ethnic groups limits their use. METHODS: We analyzed agreement in prevalent and incident dementia based on cognitive assessment from the Health and Retirement Study for persons with linked Medicare claims including diagnosed dementia from 2000 to 2008 (N= 10,450 persons, 31,186 person-waves). Multinomial logistic regression identified factors associated with disagreement. RESULTS: Cognitive tests and coded diagnosis yielded identical prevalence estimates (14%) yet only half of identified cases overlapped. Eighty-five percent of respondents with incident dementia based on cognitive assessment in survey received a diagnosis. Blacks and Hispanics had lower odds of receiving medical diagnosis than whites with similar cognitive decline. DISCUSSIONS: Time-lag in dementia diagnosis for racial and ethnic minorities reduced over time. Claims data are valuable for tracking dementia in the US population.

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 Presented in Session 76. Flash Session: Unpacking Associations Between Race/Ethnicity and Health