Dementia severity and the longitudinal costs of informal care in the Cache County population

Gail B. Rattinger, Sarah Schwartz, C. Daniel Mullins, Chris Corcoran, Ilene H. Zuckerman, Chelsea Sanders, Maria C. Norton, Elizabeth B. Fauth, Jeannie Marie S. Leoutsakos, Constantine G. Lyketsos, Jo Ann T. Tschanz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Background Dementia costs are critical for influencing healthcare policy, but limited longitudinal information exists. We examined longitudinal informal care costs of dementia in a population-based sample. Methods Data from the Cache County Study included dementia onset, duration, and severity assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Informal costs of daily care (COC) was estimated based on median Utah wages. Mixed models estimated the relationship between severity and longitudinal COC in separate models for MMSE and CDR. Results Two hundred and eighty-seven subjects (53% female, mean (standard deviation) age was 82.3 (5.9) years) participated. Overall COC increased by 18% per year. COC was 6% lower per MMSE-point increase and compared with very mild dementia, COC increased over twofold for mild, fivefold for moderate, and sixfold for severe dementia on the CDR. Conclusions Greater dementia severity predicted higher costs. Disease management strategies addressing dementia progression may curb costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1943
Pages (from-to)946-954
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease costs
  • Costs
  • Dementia longitudinal costs
  • Longitudinal caregiving costs
  • Longitudinal informal dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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