Global Dementia Care Costs Soar
Study: Dementia Care Cost World More Than $315 Billion in 2005
WebMD News Archive
April 16, 2007 -- Dementia care costs topped $315 billion worldwide in 2005,
a new study shows.
"Worldwide costs for dementia are enormous," write the
They included Anders Wimo, MD, PhD, of the department of neurobiology, care
sciences, and society at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Wimo's team estimated the cost of direct medical care and informal care
(such as relatives' help with daily life) around the world. They used dementia
data and economic statistics including average wage in various countries.
The researchers calculated the financial worth of informal care, which is
usually given for free by patients' loved ones. It's hard to put a dollar value
on that work, but the researchers write that their assumptions are "based
on the best available data."
The global cost of dementia care in 2005 includes $105 billion in informal
care, according to Wimo and colleagues.
They previously estimated that the worldwide direct cost of dementia care
was $156 billion in 2003. That figure doesn't include informal dementia care
The new figures are higher, and not just because they include informal
dementia care costs.
The researchers point out that the world's population is aging. Dementia
becomes more likely with advanced age, but it's not a normal part of aging.
Wimo's team notes that in 2005, an estimated 29.3 million people worldwide
had dementia, compared with 27.7 million in 2003.
Average wages have also risen since the 2003 estimate, note Wimo and
Their study appears in the April edition of Alzheimer's & Dementia:
The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.