The long-term direct and indirect economic burden among Parkinson's disease caregivers in the United States

Movement Disorders. 2019 Feb;34(2):236-245

Parkinson's disease is a progressive, disabling neurodegenerative disorder associated with significant economic burden for patients and caregivers. The objective of this study was to compare the direct and indirect economic burden of Parkinson's patients' caregivers with demographically matched controls in the United States, in the 5 years after first diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.


Policyholders (18-64 years old) linked to a Parkinson's disease patient (≥2 diagnoses of Parkinson's disease; first diagnosis is the index date) from January 1, 1998 to March 31, 2014, were selected from a private-insurer claims database and categorized as Parkinson'scaregivers. Eligible Parkinson's caregivers were matched 1:5 to policyholders with a non-Parkinson's dependent (controls). Multivariable regression adjusted for baseline characteristics estimated direct costs (all-cause insurer cost [medical and prescription] and comorbidity-related medical costs; patient out-of-pocket costs) and indirect costs (disability and medically related absenteeism costs). Income progression was also compared between cohorts.


A total of 1211 eligible Parkinson's caregivers (mean age, 56 years; 54% female) were matched to 6055 controls. In adjusted analyses, Parkinson's caregivers incurred significantly higher year 1 total all-cause insurer costs ($8999 vs $7117) and medical costs ($7081 vs $5568) (both P < 0.01) and higher prescription costs (range for years 1-5, $2506-2573 vs $1405-$1687) and total out-of-pocket costs ($1259-1585 vs $902-$1192) in years 1-5 (all P < 0.01). Parkinson's caregivers had significantly higher adjusted indirect costs in years 1-3 (range for years 1-3, $2054-$2464 vs $1681-$1857; all P < 0.05) and higher cumulative income loss over 5 years ($5967 vs $2634 by year 5; P for interaction = 0.03).


Parkinson's caregivers exhibited higher direct and indirect costs and greater income loss compared with matched controls. 

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Martinez-Martin P, Macaulay D, Jalundhwala YJ, Mu F, Ohashi E, Marshall T, Sail K