Trends in health service use and potentially avoidable hospitalizations before Alzheimer's disease diagnosis: A matched, retrospective study of US Medicare beneficiaries
Alzheimer's & Dementia, 2019
This study evaluates rates of all-cause emergency department visits, all-cause hospitalizations, potentially avoidable hospitalizations, and falls in 3 years preceding Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis.
Patients with AD and controls with no cognitive impairment were identified from the Medicare claims data. Patients were required to be aged ≥ 65 years and have continuous Medicare enrollment for ≥4 years before the index date (AD cohort: first AD diagnosis in 2012-2014; controls: randomly selected medical claim). Outcomes for each preindex year were compared among propensity score-matched cohorts.
Each year, before index, patients with AD were more likely to have all-cause emergency department visits, all-cause hospitalizations, potentially avoidable hospitalizations, and falls (P < .05 for all comparisons) than matched controls (N = 19,679 pairs). Increasing absolute and relative risks over time were observed for all outcomes.
The study findings highlight the growing burden of illness before AD diagnosis and emphasize the need for timely recognition and management of patients with AD.