Costs of dementia in England and Wales in the 21st century

Br J Psychiatry. 2001 Sep:179:261-6. doi: 10.1192/bjp.179.3.261.


Background: An important factor determining future health care expenditure is the relationship between ageing, health status and development of age-related disorders such as dementia.

Aims: To estimate the formal care costs associated with dementia in England and Wales between 1994 and 2031.

Method: Epidemiological cost model, applied to individuals aged 65 years or over with dementia, using estimates of life expectancy with dementia and dementia-free life expectancy.

Results: Total costs per year were pound 0.95 billion (men) and pound 5.35 billion (women) using 1994 population estimates. For 2031, costs were pound 2.34 billion and pound 11.20 billion, respectively. Reduced dementia prevalence rates and improvements in mental and physical functioning resulted in lower estimates: pound 1.01 billion (men) and pound 5.77 billion (women), and pound 1.65 billion (men) and pound 7.87 billion (women), respectively.

Conclusions: Future increases in the population aged 65 years or over lead to rising formal care costs. However, the magnitude of cost changes depends on assumptions over dementia prevalence and levels of mental and physical functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Dementia / economics*
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / trends*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Models, Econometric
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Wales / epidemiology