International Psychogeriatrics

Research Article

Clinical and economic characteristics associated with direct costs of Alzheimer's, frontotemporal and vascular dementia in Argentina

Galeno Rojasa1 c1, Leonardo Bartolonia1, Carol Dillona1, Cecilia M. Serranoa1, Monica Iturrya1 and Ricardo F. Allegria1

a1 Memory Research Center, Department of Neurology, Hospital General Abel Zubizarreta, GCABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Background: The economic cost of dementia is high and can be predicted by cognitive and neuropsychiatric profiles. The differential costs of the various subtypes of dementia are unknown in Argentina, and this study therefore aimed to compare these costs.

Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of dementia of Alzheimer-type (DAT), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and vascular dementia (VaD), and their primary caregivers, were evaluated between 2002 and 2008.

Results: 104 patients with dementia (DAT = 44, FTD = 34, VaD = 26) were screened and matched by age and educational level with 29 healthy subjects. Demographic variables showed no significant differences among dementia patients. The annual direct costs were US$4625 for DAT, US$4924 for FTD, and US$5112 for VaD (p > 0.05 between groups). In the post hoc analysis VaD showed higher hospitalization costs than DAT (p < 0.001). VaD exhibited lower medication costs than FTD (p < 0.001). DAT exhibited higher anti-dementia drug costs; FTD had higher psychotropic costs. In the multivariate analysis, depression, activities of daily living, and caregiver burden were correlated with direct costs (r2 = 0.76).

Conclusions: The different dementia types have different costs. Overall, costs increased with the presence of behavioral symptoms, depression and functional impairment of activities of daily living.

(Received July 05 2010)

(Revised August 07 2010)

(Revised September 13 2010)

(Accepted September 13 2010)

(Online publication November 03 2010)


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Galeno Rojas MD, Memory Research Center, Department of Neurology, Hospital General Abel Zubizarreta, Nueva York 3952. CP 1431. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Phone: +54 11 44333443; Fax: +54 11 44333443. Email: