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Executive Function Loss Linked with Health Costs

Alzheimer Dement; ePub 2017 Feb 4; Bender, et al

Impairment in executive function is specifically and linearly associated with higher health care expenditures, a recent study found. Focusing on management strategies that address early losses in executive function may be effective in reducing costly services. Researchers used linear regression models to compare annual health expenditures by cognitive status in 8,125 Nurses' Health Study participants who completed a cognitive battery and were enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. They found:

  • Adjusting for demographics and comorbidity, executive impairment was associated with higher total annual expenditures of $1,488 per person compared to those without impairment.
  • No association for episodic memory impairment was found.
  • Expenditures exhibited a linear relationship with executive function, but not episodic memory ($584 higher for every 1 standard deviation decrement in executive function).


Bender AC, Austin AM, Grodstein F, Bynum JPW. Executive function, episodic memory, and Medicare expenditures. [Published online ahead of print February 4, 2017]. Alzheimer Dement. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2016.12.013.