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2017 Grants - Lin
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in ADRD Diagnosis, Treatment and Costs
Pei-Jung Lin, Ph.D.
Tufts University Medical Center
2017 Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant (AARG)
How does a person’s racial or ethnic background influence the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, access to treatment, and costs of care?
Early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias has many benefits. When diagnosed early, people with the disease and their caregivers can get access to support services, they can receive medical care that can help maintain the best possible quality of life, and they can plan both medically and financially. Many people, however, are not diagnosed promptly, which can lead to unnecessary problems and increased healthcare costs.
There is evidence that people from African-American, Hispanic, or other non-white ethnic groups experience greater delays in diagnosis and reduced access to treatment compared to white people. However, the extent of these problems has not been studied or documented thoroughly.
Pei-Jung Lin, Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed a study to document diagnostic delays, barriers to treatment, and costs of disease in people with Alzheimer’s disease. They plan to compare people across ethnic groups to evaluate how race and ethnicity affect the timeliness of diagnosis, access to treatment, and cost. The researchers will use data from nationwide surveys that are linked to databases of services provided by Medicare and Medicaid.
This research will document the differences between ethnic groups regarding delays in diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, access to care, and costs. The results will help public health policymakers choose strategies to reduce disparities in diagnosis and treatment that are a consequence of racial or ethnic differences and provide better health outcomes.