Excess Costs Associated with Possible Misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Among Patients with Vascular Dementia in a UK CPRD Population

Michael Happich, Noam Y Kirson, Urvi Desai, Sarah King, Howard G Birnbaum, Catherine Reed, Mark Belger, Alan Lenox-Smith, David Price

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Prior diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) among patients later diagnosed with vascular dementia (VaD) has been associated with excess costs, suggesting potential benefits of earlier rule-out of AD diagnosis.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether prior diagnosis with AD among patients with VaD is associated with excess costs in the UK.

METHODS: Patients with a final VaD diagnosis, continuous data visibility for≥6 months prior to index date, and linkage to Hospital Episode Statistics data were retrospectively selected from de-identified Clinical Practice Research Datalink data. Patients with AD diagnosis before a final VaD diagnosis were matched to similar patients with no prior AD diagnosis using propensity score methods. Annual excess healthcare costs were calculated for 5 years post-index, stratified by time to final diagnosis.

RESULTS: Of 9,311 patients with VaD, 508 (6%) had prior AD diagnosis with a median time to VaD diagnosis exceeding 2 years from index date. Over the entire follow-up period, patients with prior AD diagnosis had accumulated healthcare costs that were approximately GBP2,000 higher than those for matched counterparts (mostly due to higher hospitalization costs). Cost differentials peaked particularly in the period including the final VaD diagnosis, with excess costs quickly declining thereafter.

CONCLUSION: Potential misdiagnosis of AD among UK patients with VaD resulted in substantial excess costs. The decline in excess costs following a final VaD diagnosis suggests potential benefits from earlier rule-out of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to acknowledge Julie von Ziegenweidt and Annie Burden (Research in Real Life, UK) for assistance with processing and interpretation
of CPRD data, and Gillian Gummer and Caroline Spencer (Rx Communications, Mold, UK) for medical writing assistance with the preparation of this article, funded by Eli Lilly and Company. Authors’ disclosures available online (http://j-alz. com/manuscript-disclosures/15-0685r2).


  • Journal Article
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cost and cost analysis
  • diagnosis
  • health resources
  • vascular dementia


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