The US economic and social costs of Alzheimer's disease revisited

Am J Public Health. 1994 Aug;84(8):1261-4. doi: 10.2105/ajph.84.8.1261.


OBJECTIVEs. An earlier paper estimated the per-case and national incidence costs of Alzheimer's disease for 1983. This paper updates the estimates of costs per case to 1991 and presents new national prevalence estimates of the economic and social costs of the disease.

Methods: All data for the cost estimates were taken from published sources or provided by other researchers.

Results: At midrange values of the estimated cost and epidemiological parameters, the discounted (at 4%) direct and total costs of Alzheimer's disease were $47,581 and $173,932 per case, respectively. The estimated 1991 national direct and total prevalence costs were $20.6 billion and $67.3 billion, respectively. Assuming conservatively that the prevalence of the disease remains constant, the estimated discounted present values of the direct and total costs of all current and future generations of Alzheimer's patients are $536 billion and $1.75 trillion, respectively.

Conclusions: The $536 billion and $1.75 trillion figures are minimum estimates of the long-term dollar losses to the US economy in 1991 caused by Alzheimer's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / economics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Caregivers / economics
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Fees, Medical
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Value of Life