Inequalities in receipt of mental and physical healthcare in people with dementia in the UK

Claudia Cooper*, Rebecca Lodwick, Kate Walters, Rosalind Raine, Jill Manthorpe, Steve Iliffe, Irene Petersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background - UK Dementia Strategies prioritise fair access to mental and physical healthcare. We investigated whether there are inequalities by deprivation or gender in healthcare received by people with dementia, and compared healthcare received by people with and without dementia.

Methods - we investigated primary care records of 68,061 community dwelling dementia patients and 259,337 people without dementia (2002-13). We tested hypotheses that people with dementia from more deprived areas, and who are women receive more psychotropic medication, fewer surgery consultations, are less likely to receive annual blood pressure, weight monitoring and an annual review, compared with those from less deprived areas and men.

Results - only half of people with dementia received a documented annual review. Deprivation was not associated with healthcare received. Compared to men with dementia, women with dementia had lower rates of surgery consultations (adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.90, 95% CI 0.90-0.91), of annual blood pressure monitoring (adjusted IRR 0.96, 95% CI 0.95-0.97) and of annual weight monitoring (adjusted IRR 0.91, 95% CI 0.90-0.93). Men with dementia were less likely to be taking psychotropic medication than women with dementia. People with dementia had fewer surgery consultations and were less likely to have their weight and blood pressure monitored at least annually, compared to the non-dementia group.

Conclusions - people with dementia, in particular women, appear to receive less primary healthcare, but take more psychotropic medication that may negatively impact their physical health. Reducing these inequalities and improving access of people with dementia to preventative healthcare could improve the health of people with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-400
Number of pages8
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
Early online date5 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Dementia
  • Deprivation
  • Equalities
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Medication
  • Older people
  • Psychotropic drugs


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