Epidemiology and economic burden of Lewy body dementia in the United States

Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2022


To describe the trends in epidemiology, healthcare resource use (HCRU), and costs associated with Lewy body dementia (LBD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) in the United States.


This retrospective study used administrative claims data for Medicare fee-for-service (2010-2018) and commercially-insured beneficiaries (2010-2017). The annual prevalence and incidence were calculated among the Medicare beneficiaries by dividing the number of prevalent or incident LBD, DLB, and PDD patients by the total eligible population of that calendar year. Baseline patient characteristics, HCRU, and costs over time were described for Medicare and commercially insured patients with continuous health plan enrollment for ≥12 months before and ≥24 months after first cognitive impairment (CI) diagnosis.


From 2010 to 2016, the incidence and prevalence rates of LBD among Medicare beneficiaries ranged from 0.21%-0.18% and 0.90%-0.83%, respectively. Of 9019 Medicare patients with LBD who met other inclusion criteria, 4796 (53.2%) had DLB and 4223 (46.8%) had PDD. The mean age was 78 years and the mean Charlson Comorbidity Index score was 1.6. On average, patients with LBD incurred $18,309 in medical costs during the 1-year pre-diagnosis and $29,174 and $22,814 at years 1 and 5 after diagnosis, respectively. The main cost drivers were inpatient and outpatient visits. Similar trends were observed for DLB and PDD as well as for commercially-insured patients.


Our findings highlight the substantial epidemiological and economic burden across the LBD spectrum and underscore a high unmet need for effective treatments to improve patient outcomes.

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Desai U, Chandler J, Kirson N, Georgieva M, Cheung HC, Westermeyer B, Lane H, Biglan K