To examine the variation in risk factors and hospitalization costs among four elderly dementia cohorts by race and gender.
Materials and Methods:
The 2008 Tennessee Hospital Discharged database was examined. The prevalence, risk factors and cost of inpatient care of dementia were examined for individuals aged 65 years and above, across the four race gender cohorts - white males (WM), black males (BM), white females (WF), and black females (BF).
3.6% of patients hospitalized in 2008 had dementia. Dementia was higher among females than males, and higher among blacks than whites. Further, BF had higher prevalence of dementia than WF; similarly, BM had a higher prevalence of dementia than WM. Overall, six risk factors were associated with dementia for the entire sample including HTN, DM, CKD, CHF, COPD, and stroke. These risk factors varied slightly in predicting dementia by race and gender. Hospital costs were 14% higher among dementia patients compared to non-dementia patients.
There exist significant race and gender disparities in prevalence of dementia. A greater degree of co-morbidity, increased duration of hospital stay, and more frequent hospitalizations, may result in a higher cost of inpatient dementia care. Aggressive management of risk factors may subsequently reduce stroke and cost of dementia care, especially in the black population. Race and gender dependent milestones for management of these risk factors should be considered.