Significant Regional Variation in Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis Rates Observed in Analysis Group Study

January 2, 2020

A study by a team of researchers including Analysis Group Managing Principal Noam Kirson and Manager Urvi Desai found considerable regional variation in the incidence rates of Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis in the US. The analysis, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, also confirmed recent reports of a decline in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis rates over time.

The study used administrative claims data for a 5% random sample of US Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years or older between 2007 and 2014. During that time, the incidence of diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease decreased from 1.53% in 2007 to 1.09% in 2014. The trend over time was similar for most geographical areas. However, during a given year, the percentage of people with Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis in each region varied considerably, with the highest observed incidence rates in areas of the Midwest and the South.

Dr. Desai said of the team’s findings, “Although additional research is needed to understand the reasons behind the observed trends in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, our findings underscore the need to consider regional factors when contemplating policy directives aimed at improving the identification and management of people with cognitive impairment.”

Articles about this study have been published in a variety of media outlets, including Healio, Medical Express, EurekAlert, Physician’s Weekly, and

Read an abstract of the article