BackgroundThe objective of this study was to examine patient characteristics and health care resource utilization (HCRU) in the 36 months prior to a confirmatory diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) compared to a matched cohort without dementia during the same time interval.
MethodsPatients newly diagnosed with AD (with ?2 claims) were identified between January 1, 2013 to September 31, 2015, and the date of the second claim for AD was defined as the index date. Patients were enrolled for at least 36 months prior to index date. The AD cohort was matched to a cohort with no AD or dementia codes (1:3) on age, gender, race/ethnicity, and enrollment duration prior to the index date. Descriptive analyses were used to summarize patient characteristics, HCRU, and healthcare costs prior to the confirmatory AD diagnosis. The classification and regression tree analysis and logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with the AD diagnosis.
ResultsThe AD cohort (N?=?16,494) had significantly higher comorbidity indices and greater odds of comorbid mental and behavioral diagnoses, including mild cognitive impairment, mood and anxiety disorders, behavioral disturbances, and cerebrovascular disease, heart disease, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia than the matched non-AD or dementia cohort (N = 49,482). During the six-month period before the confirmatory AD diagnosis, AD medication use and diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson's disease, or mood disorder were the strongest predictors of a subsequent confirmatory diagnosis of AD. Greater HCRU and healthcare costs were observed for the AD cohort primarily during the six-month period before the confirmatory AD diagnosis.
ConclusionThe results of this study demonstrated a higher comorbidity burden and higher costs for patients prior to a diagnosis of AD in comparison to the matched cohort. Several comorbidities were associated with a subsequent diagnosis of AD.