Background: As the Japanese population ages, caring for people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia is becoming a major socioeconomic issue.
Objective: To determine the contribution of patient and caregiver costs to total societal costs associated with AD dementia.
Methods: Baseline data was used from the longitudinal, observational GERAS-J study. Using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, patients routinely visiting memory clinics were stratified into three groups based on AD severity. Health care resource utilizationwas recorded using the Resource Utilization in Dementia questionnaire. Total monthly societal costs were estimated using Japan-specific unit costs of services and products (patient direct health care use, patient social care use, and informal caregiving time). Uncertainty around mean costs was estimated using bootstrapping methods.
Results: Overall, 553 community-dwelling patients withADdementia (28.3% mild[MMSE21-26], 37.8% moderate[MMSE 15-20], and 34.0% moderately severe/severe [MMSE < 14]) and their caregivers were enrolled. Patient characteristics were: mean age 80.3 years, 72.7% female, and 13.6% living alone. Caregiver characteristics were: mean age 62.1 years, 70.7% female, 78.8% living with patient, 49.0% child of patient, and 39.2% sole caregiver. Total monthly societal costs of AD dementia (Japanese yen) were: 158,454 (mild), 211,301 (moderate), and 294,224 (moderately severe/severe). Informal caregiving costs comprised over 50% of total costs.
Conclusion: Baseline results of GERAS-J showed that total monthly societal costs associated with AD dementia increased with AD severity. Caregiver-related costs were the largest cost component. Interventions are needed to decrease informal costs and decrease caregiver burden.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Japan; cost and cost analysis; observational study.