Net costs of dementia by disease stage

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2011 Nov;124(5):384-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01741.x. Epub 2011 Aug 13.


Objective: To estimate net costs of dementia by degree of severity from a societal perspective, including a detailed assessment of costs of formal and informal nursing care.

Method: In a cross-sectional study, costs of illness were analysed in 176 dementia patients and 173 matched non-demented control subjects. Healthcare resource use and costs were assessed retrospectively by means of a questionnaire. Dementia patients were classified into three disease stages, and linear regression models were applied to estimate net costs of dementia by degree of severity.

Results: Annual net costs of dementia by stage were approximately €15 000 (mild), €32 000 (moderate) and €42 000 (severe), corresponding to US-$21 450, 45 760 and 60 060 respectively. Across disease stages, nursing care accounted for approximately three-quarters of total costs, of which half resulted from informal care. In sensitivity analyses using different valuation methods for nursing care, total costs decreased or increased by more than 20%.

Conclusion: Net costs more than double across stages of dementia. Informal care accounts for a considerable share of nursing care costs, and the approach to valuation of informal care has a large impact on cost-of-illness estimates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / economics*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Regression Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors