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Fast Facts: Alzheimer’s Disease

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Up-to-date insights on disease, treatment, and care, based on real-world data from our full-stack healthcare analytics platform

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The landscape of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is evolving quickly. Rates of this progressive brain disorder — the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. — have increased among younger Americans in recent years, as race-based disparities continue to be elucidated and off-label schizophrenia medications are increasingly prescribed.

Inclusive, up-to-date insights will play a crucial role in moving the needle to improve the lives of patients with AD. In our third Fact Facts, a series detailing recent snapshots of disease, treatment, and care, we highlight this prevalent and devastating disease. 

Our analyses identified disparities in healthcare utilization for patients of color with AD, finding that they experience 62% more healthcare encounters overall and 54% more inpatient admissions, compared with White patients. We also found that a significant number of insured AD patients had been prescribed schizophrenia medications off-label. Comparing AD diagnosis rates from 2020 and 2021, we saw an 18% increase in early-onset AD (ages 45 to 65), suggesting a potential need for age-appropriate updates to guidelines.

Given the shifting trends associated with AD and its diagnosis, staying current with the latest trends is critical if we are to develop the most effective awareness campaigns, guidelines, and educational tools. Healthcare providers, in particular, need to have a complete, evidenced-based view of risk factors, gaps in care, and patient journey trends to better identify opportunities for intervention that could improve quality of life for patients with AD. Komodo's insights, which are based in the real-time, real-world patient journeys of over 330 million patients, can play a pivotal role in informing the efforts of federal and state agencies, policymakers, providers, advocacy groups, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions alike as they work towards the shared goal of improving the lives of AD patients and their families. 

Read our Alzheimer’s disease Fast Facts here.

Check out more of our work on Alzheimer’s disease in our research brief on racial disparities in inpatient and emergency care.

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