Objectives: To assess differences in resource use and cost between older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI) over time.
Design: Multicenter, longitudinal study.
Setting: Sixty-eight Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) sites in the United States.
Participants: Two hundred fifty-nine individuals diagnosed with MCI and 107 cognitively normal elderly adults followed annually for 3 years.
Measurements: The Resource Use Instrument (RUI) was used to capture medical and nonmedical care use. Generalized linear latent and mixed models were used to estimate differences in resource use and costs in older adults with and without MCI after controlling for clinical and demographic characteristics.
Results: At baseline, average annual direct medical cost per person was substantially higher for participants with MCI ($6,499) than for those without ($2,969) P < .001). Informal care use was also substantially higher (33% vs 8.4%, P < .001). Results from multivariate analyses of longitudinal data show that, after controlling for participant and informant characteristics, direct medical costs were 44% higher for participants with MCI than for those without. Participants with MCI were almost five times as likely to use informal care as those without. Number of medical conditions and older age were associated with higher medical cost. Worse functional and cognitive status, older age, being married, and being female were associated with higher likelihood of informal care use. Having an adult child informant was associated with higher likelihood of using informal care.
Conclusion: The RUI captured differences in resource use and costs between individuals with and without MCI. Clinicians who care for individuals with MCI should address informal care needs early in the disease course.
© 2013, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2013, The American Geriatrics Society.