Use of dementia special care was low among older US adults, particularly for Hispanics and Asians, and associated with more detection of etiological subtype, a new study found. Researchers quantified dementia diagnoses and subsequent health care > 5 years by etiologic subtype and physician specialty among Medicare beneficiaries with incident dementia in 2008-2009 (n=226,604 persons; 714,015 person-years). Among the findings:
- 85% of participants were diagnosed by a nondementia specialist.
- Use of dementia specialists within 1 year and 5 years of diagnosis was low.
- “Unspecified” dementia diagnosis was common and higher among those diagnosed by nondementia specialists.
- Half of diagnoses were Alzheimer’s disease.
Drabo EF, et al. Longitudinal analysis of dementia diagnosis and specialty care among racially diverse Medicare beneficiaries. [Published online ahead of print September 4, 2019]. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2019.07.005.