Health Studies: Majority Of People With Dementia Never Receive Specialty Diagnosis Or Care

From a USC News online release:

Alzheimer's & Dementia Journal Aug 2019The team found 85% of people first diagnosed with dementia were diagnosed by a non-dementia specialist physician, usually a primary care doctor, and an “unspecified dementia” diagnosis was common.

One year after diagnosis, less than a quarter of patients had seen a dementia specialist. After five years, the percent of patients had only increased to 36%.

In the first large study to examine the diagnosis of dementia in older Americans over time, researchers found the vast majority never meet with a dementia specialist and are instead overwhelmingly diagnosed and cared for by non-specialists.

The study, which also found the use of dementia specialty care was particularly low for Hispanic and Asian patients, was published Wednesday in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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