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Cognitive Impairment and Prevalence of Memory-Related Diagnoses among U.S. Older Adults

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Listed:
  • Qian, Yuting
  • Chen, Xi
  • Tang, Diwen
  • Kelley, Amy S.
  • Li, Jing

Abstract

Cognitive impairment creates significant challenges to health and well-being of the fast-growing aging population. Early recognition of cognitive impairment may confer important advantages, allowing for diagnosis and appropriate treatment, education, psychosocial support, and improved decision-making regarding life planning, health care, and financial matters. Yet the prevalence of memory-related diagnoses among older adults with early symptoms of cognitive impairment is unknown. Using 2000-2014 Health and Retirement Survey - Medicare linked data, we leveraged within-individual variation in a longitudinal cohort design to examine the relationship between incident cognitive impairment and receipt of diagnosis among American older adults. Receipt of a memory-related diagnosis was determined by ICD-9-CM codes. Incident cognitive impairment was assessed using the modified Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status (TICS). We found overall low prevalence of early memory-related diagnosis, or high rate of underdiagnosis, among older adults showing symptoms of cognitive impairment, especially among non-whites and socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroups. Our findings call for targeted interventions to improve the rate of early diagnosis, especially among vulnerable populations.

Suggested Citation

  • Qian, Yuting & Chen, Xi & Tang, Diwen & Kelley, Amy S. & Li, Jing, 2021. "Cognitive Impairment and Prevalence of Memory-Related Diagnoses among U.S. Older Adults," GLO Discussion Paper Series 777, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:777
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abrevaya, Jason, 1997. "The equivalence of two estimators of the fixed-effects logit model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 41-43, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognitive impairment; cognitive aging; dementia; Medicare; memory-related diagnosis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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