Dementia 2010: The Economic Burden of Dementia and Associated Research Funding in the UK
The Alzheimer Research Trust in the UK commissioned the Health Economics Research Centre at the University of Oxford to undertake this cost of illness study to evaluate using a societal perspective the combined costs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Overall, the study estimated the cost of dementia in 2008 to be £23 billion in terms of health and social care, informal care and productivity losses in 2008. Of these costs, 5% were attributed to healthcare, 40% to social care and 55% to informal care, with productivity losses accounting for less than 1% of total costs. The study also estimated the costs of cancer and compared the costs of dementia and cancer, dementia and coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. It estimated the costs of dementia to be the highest, followed by cancer, CHD and stroke, with the costs of dementia greater than the combined costs of cancer and CHD. In addition, the study investigated the allocation of research funds by governmental organisations and charities in the UK. It found that despite the high economic cost of dementia, research funding is highly dominated by cancer followed a considerable way behind by CHD and offers some suggestions to explain the underfunding for dementia research.