Sex, Race and Age Differences in Prevalence of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia in Medicare Claims and Survey Data

Yingying Zhu , University of Southern California
Yi Chen, University of Southern California
Julie M. Zissimopoulos, University of Southern California

Objective: This study provides the first comparison of trends in dementia prevalence in the US population using three different data sources and three different approaches to dementia assessment: clinical assessment, cognitive tests, and physician diagnosis. Methods: We used data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study and Aging, Demographics and Memory Study, and a 20% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries. We compared dementia prevalence across the three sources by race, gender and age. We estimated trends in dementia prevalence from 2006 to 2012 based on cognitive tests and doctor diagnosis utilizing logistic regression. Results: Dementia prevalence in 2004 was 16.6% (clinical assessment), 15.8% (cognitive tests), and 12.2% (doctor diagnosis). Prevalence did not decline from 2006 to 2012 based on cognitive tests and doctor diagnosis. Discussion: Increasing consistency over time across measures supports the use of Medicare claims data for tracking time trends in population rates of dementia.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging