TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Mild cognitive impairment is underdiagnosed, with only 0.1 percent of clinicians and practices with diagnosis rates within the expected range, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ying Liu, Ph.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined detection rates for mild cognitive impairment among primary care clinicians and practices in the United States using Medicare claims and encounter data in an observational study. The study sample included 226,756 primary care clinicians and 54,597 practices with at least 25 patients aged 65 years or older enrolled in Medicare fee-for-service or a Medicare Advantage plan. The detection rate for mild cognitive impairment was assessed as the ratio between the observed diagnosis rate of a clinician or practice based on documentation and the expected rate based on a predictive model.

The researchers found that the average detection rates were 0.08 for mild cognitive impairment for clinicians and practices, indicating that on average, about 8 percent of expected cases were diagnosed. Diagnosis rates within the expected range were seen for only 0.1 percent of clinicians and practices.

“There’s really just a tiny fraction of physicians in a position to diagnose mild cognitive impairment who would find these cases early enough for maximum therapeutic potential,” lead author Soeren Mattke, M.D., also from the University of Southern California, said in a statement.

One author disclosed ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, which partially funded the study.

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