Economic Burden of Alzheimer's Disease Dementia in Japan

J Alzheimers Dis. 2021;81(1):309-319. doi: 10.3233/JAD-210075.


Background: Alzheimer's disease dementia (ADD) is the leading cause of long-term care in Japan.

Objective: This study estimates the annual healthcare and long-term care costs in fiscal year 2018 for adults over 65 years of age with ADD in Japan and the informal care costs and productivity loss for their families.

Methods: Healthcare and long-term care costs for ADD were estimated according to the disease severity classified by the clinical dementia rating (CDR) score, using reports from a literature review. For the costs of time spent on caregiving activities, productivity loss for ADD family caregivers aged 20-69 and informal care costs for all ADD family caregivers were estimated.

Results: The total healthcare cost of ADD was JPY 1,073 billion, of which 86% (JPY 923 billion) was attributed to healthcare costs other than ADD drug costs (JPY 151 billion). The healthcare costs other than ADD drug costs by severity were less than JPY 200 billion for CDR 0.5, CDR 1, and CDR 2, respectively, but increased to JPY 447 billion (48%) for CDR 3. The public long-term care costs were estimated to be JPY 4,783 billion, which increased according to the severity. Total productivity loss for ADD family caregivers aged 20-69 was JPY 1,547 billion and the informal care cost for all ADD family caregivers was JPY 6,772 billion.

Conclusion: ADD costs have a significant impact on public-funded healthcare, long-term care systems, and families in Japan. To minimize the economic burden of ADD, prolonging healthy life expectancy is the key factor to address.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease dementia; burden of illness; clinical dementia rating; healthcare cost; long-term care cost; productivity cost.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / economics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Caregivers / economics*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Long-Term Care / economics*
  • Male