A new study, the first of its kind, published in the Women's Health Issues journal finds women bear six times the cost of Alzheimer's disease care, per capita, than men do. Researchers cite the informal care women give to family members with dementia as the reason for greater cost.
Study authors used a lifetime perspective to calculate care costs and looked at three factors: the probability of developing dementia, disease duration and the formal and informal care needs for the patient. They found women with dementia have 16 percent higher Medicare costs and 70 percent higher Medicaid costs than male patients over their lifetime, the study stated.
"There is strong evidence that women face higher risks of being affected by Alzheimer's as either patients or informal caregivers," co-author Zhou Yang, PhD, told Emory University. "It is critical to develop public policy interventions aimed at curing or slowing the progress of the disease to benefit the health and economic welfare of women everywhere."