A recent study by the University of Michigan has found that close to half of all older adults are reported deceased with a diagnosis of dementia upon death, a substantial increase over the last few decades.
Between 2004 and 2017, an increase of 34 percent to 47 percent occurred amid an examination of more than 3,500,000 Medicare fee-for-service decedents, as published in JAMA Health Forum.
“Dying with an Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD) diagnosis has become more common among older US decedents, potentially owing to increased awareness and temporal changes in billing,” according to the study’s authors.
“In this cross-sectional study, nearly half of older Medicare decedents had a diagnosis of ADRD at the time of death,” the authors explained.
“From 2004 to 2017, the percentage of older adult decedents who received an ADRD diagnosis increased substantially prior to announcement of the addition of ADRD to Medicare risk adjustment strategies.”