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Cost of dementia

European Collaboration on Dementia


Dementia disorders are chronic, progressive, long lasting and, so far, uncurable. Despite the direct effects on the patients and their nexts of kin, this pattern (which dementia disorders have in common with other disorders such as mental illness, rheumatoid disorders, diabetes etc) also has an enormous impact on the medical and social sectors . The combination of an expensive care, the high prevalence (about 6-7 million people today suffer from dementia in EU), a heavy impact of informal care do indeed stress the basic questions in health economic analysis .

The aim of this section is to highlight some basic concepts in health economics and to make an inventory and comparative report of existing studies describing the the socio-economic impact of dementia. The main focus is on cost of illness and to some extent also on the burden of illness in terms of DALYs (Disability adjusted life years) in Europe. The main focus will be on the European Union (EU27) but result for an expanded EU as well as the whole Europe with regions will also be highlighted.

In order to describe the cost of illness of a disease or group is diseases with a chronic progressive long lasting course, some basic points need to be discussed:

  • The health economical context
  • Perspective/viewpoint
  • Costing taxonomy
  • The top-down vs the bottom up approach
  • Gross costs (total costs) vs net costs (incremental costs)
  • Prevalence or incidence based approach
  • The contribution of informal care
  • Different care patterns in Europe

The results will also have some policy implications:

  • Describe the variation in utlilization of dementia care resources in the EU
  • Impact of informal care



Last Updated: Friday 14 November 2014


  • Acknowledgements

    The EuroCoDe project received financial support from the European Commission. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for any use that might be made of the following information. Alzheimer Europe also gratefully acknowledges the support it received from Fondation Médéric Alzheimer for this project.
  • European Union
  • Fondation Médéric Alzheimer