The economic costs of dementia in Korea, 2002

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To estimate the economic costs of dementia in 2002 using an economic evaluation model for dementia care.


Data were from the Korea National Survey of the Long-Term Care Need (LTC survey) (n = 5058), two prospective 1-year studies [one clinical trial (n = 234), one naturalistic community cohort study (n = 107)], and two epidemiologic community studies for prevalence of dementia (n = 1037 + 1481). Daily costs and proportions of different levels of institutional service provided were collected from the LTC survey. Resource use in the community included health care services, social care services, out-of-pocket purchase for self-support, caregiver time and missed work of caregiver. Costs in community were calculated based on resource utilization multiplied by the unit costs for each resource.


Total annual costs of dementia were estimated to be over 2.4 billion US$ for 272 000 dementia sufferers. Costs in community represent 96% of the total annual costs, while costs of informal care and missed work of caregivers were 1.3 billion US$, or 55% of total annual cost. Average annual costs of full time care (FTC) and pre-FTC in community LTC were 44 121 US$ and 13 273 US$ per person, whereas cost per patient who did not need community LTC was 3986 US$.


Given that the number of dementia sufferers is projected to increase in the near future and that larger part of the costs are subsidized by the government, the economic and social costs of dementia is significant not only for dementia sufferers and their caregivers, but also for society.

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