Article of the month: December 2016

Claudia Cooper, Rebecca Lodwick, Kate Walters, Rosalind Raine, Jill Manthorpe, Steve Iliffe, Irene Petersen; Inequalities in receipt of mental and physical healthcare in people with dementia in the UK. Age Ageing 2016 1-8. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw208 is the article of the month (READ)

Fair access to mental an physical healthcare is of great important to people with dementia, as they have high rates of physical ill health and neuropsychiatric symptoms. This study investigated whether there are inequalities by deprivation or gender in healthcare received by people with dementia and compared health care received by people with and without dementia. It studied primary care records of 68,061 community dwelling dementia patients and 259,337 people without dementia.  Compared with the control population, people with dementia had fewer primary care consultations and were less likely to have weight and blood pressure monitored annually, despite the association of dementia with vascular risk factors, frailty and malnutrition. Furthermore, women with dementia were more likely to receive psychotropic medications than men, which may negatively impact their physical health. Interventions to improve access to  healthcare and reduce psychotropic use in people with dementia, especially women, could benefit people with dementia, their families and society by enabling them to live well with dementia for longer.