The cost of dementia in an unequal country: The case of Chile

The cost of dementia in an unequal country: The case of Chile

Revista Académica  - PLOS One

(Disponible solo en inglés:) We study the economic cost of dementia in Chile, and its variation according to socioeconomic status (SES). We use primary data from a survey of 330 informal primary caregivers who completed both a RUD-Lite and a socio-demographic questionnaire to evaluate the severity of dementia and caregiver’s burden. The costs of dementia are broken into three components: direct medical costs (medical care, drugs, tests); direct social costs (social service, daycare); and indirect costs (mostly associated to informal care). The average monthly cost per patient is estimated at US$ 1,463. Direct medical costs account for 20 per cent, direct social costs for 5 per cent and indirect costs for 75 per cent of the total cost. The mean monthly cost is found to be inversely related to SES, a pattern largely driven by indirect costs. The monthly cost for high SES is US$ 1,083 and US$ 1,588 for low SES. A multivariate regression analysis suggests that severity of dementia and caregiver’s burden account for between 49 and 70 per cent of the difference in the indirect cost across SES. However, between one-third and one-half of the variation across SES is not due to gradient in severity of dementia (...)

In 2015, 46.8 million people were living with dementia. This number is expected to double every twenty years, reaching 131.5million in 2050. This is mainly because the disease increases exponentially with age, affecting 10 per cent of people over 65 and about 50 per cent of people over 85, worldwide, the majority of which are projected to be in low and middle-income countries including Latin America. Crucially, dementia directly affects not only patients but also the caregivers who support them. A high proportion of people with dementia receive care, mostly from family members, ranging from the provision of instrumental activities of daily living, to full personal care and round-the-clock supervision

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Hojman DA, Duarte F, Ruiz-Tagle J, Budnich M, Delgado C, Slachevsky A (2017) The cost of dementia in an unequal country: The case of Chile. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0172204. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172204