Oxford University Press (OUP), Age and Ageing
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.