Ethnic disparities in the uptake of anti-dementia medication in young and late-onset dementia

Clarissa Giebel, Monica Cations, Brian Draper, Aravind Komuravelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives:People with dementia can face barriers when trying to access care after a diagnosis, particularly in young-onset dementia (YOD). Little is known about the effects of ethnicity on the use of anti-dementia medication and variations between age groups. The aim of this study was to analyze national data on variations in the uptake of anti-dementia medication between people with YOD and late-onset dementia (LOD).Design:Cross-sectional longitudinal cohort study.Setting:Data from the U.S. National Alzheimer's Coordinating Centre were obtained from September 2005 to March 2019.Participants:First visits of people with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, Lewy body dementia (LBD), and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) were included.Measurements:Logistic regression was used to analyze the effects of education and ethnicity on use of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine, accounting for YOD/LOD, gender, living situation, severity stage, and comorbidities.Results:In total, 15,742 people with AD dementia and LBD/PDD were included, with 11,019 PwD having completed a first follow-up visit. Significantly more people with YOD used memantine than those with LOD, while fewer used cholinesterase inhibitors. PwD from minority ethnic backgrounds used memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors less often than those from a White ethnic background. Logistic regression analysis showed that ethnicity was a significant determinant of both memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors usage, while education was only a significant determinant for memantine usage.Conclusions:Findings highlight the impact of social factors on current usage of anti-dementia medication and the need for more resources to enable equitable use of anti-dementia medication.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Early online date2 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2020


  • access
  • care
  • health inequalities
  • medication
  • socio-economic status
  • young-onset dementia

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