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Recent global trends in the prevalence and incidence of dementia, and survival with dementia

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      Abstract

      Background

      Current projections of the scale of the coming dementia epidemic assume that the age- and sex-specific prevalence of dementia will not vary over time, and that population ageing alone (increasing the number of older people at risk) drives the projected increases. The basis for this assumption is doubtful, and secular trends (that is, gradual decreases or increases in prevalence over long-term periods) are perfectly plausible.

      Methods

      We carried out a systematic review of studies of trends in prevalence, incidence and mortality for people with dementia, conducted since 1980.

      Results

      We identified nine studies that had tracked dementia prevalence, eight that had tracked dementia incidence, and four that had tracked mortality among people with dementia. There was some moderately consistent evidence to suggest that the incidence of dementia may be declining in high-income countries. Evidence on trends in the prevalence of dementia were inconsistent across studies and did not suggest any clear overall effect. Declining incidence may be balanced by longer survival with dementia, although mortality trends have been little studied. There is some evidence to suggest increasing prevalence in East Asia, consistent with worsening cardiovascular risk factor profiles, although secular changes in diagnostic criteria may also have contributed.

      Conclusions

      We found no evidence to suggest that the current assumption of constant age-specific prevalence of dementia over time is ill-founded. However, there remains some uncertainty as to the future scale of the dementia epidemic. Population ageing seems destined to play the greatest role, and prudent policymakers should plan future service provision based upon current prevalence projections. Additional priorities should include investing in brain health promotion and dementia prevention programs, and monitoring the future course of the epidemic to chart the effectiveness of these measures.

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      Most cited references 62

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      Global prevalence of dementia: a Delphi consensus study.

      100 years after the first description, Alzheimer's disease is one of the most disabling and burdensome health conditions worldwide. We used the Delphi consensus method to determine dementia prevalence for each world region. 12 international experts were provided with a systematic review of published studies on dementia and were asked to provide prevalence estimates for every WHO world region, for men and women combined, in 5-year age bands from 60 to 84 years, and for those aged 85 years and older. UN population estimates and projections were used to estimate numbers of people with dementia in 2001, 2020, and 2040. We estimated incidence rates from prevalence, remission, and mortality. Evidence from well-planned, representative epidemiological surveys is scarce in many regions. We estimate that 24.3 million people have dementia today, with 4.6 million new cases of dementia every year (one new case every 7 seconds). The number of people affected will double every 20 years to 81.1 million by 2040. Most people with dementia live in developing countries (60% in 2001, rising to 71% by 2040). Rates of increase are not uniform; numbers in developed countries are forecast to increase by 100% between 2001 and 2040, but by more than 300% in India, China, and their south Asian and western Pacific neighbours. We believe that the detailed estimates in this paper constitute the best currently available basis for policymaking, planning, and allocation of health and welfare resources.
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        The global prevalence of dementia: a systematic review and metaanalysis.

        The evidence base on the prevalence of dementia is expanding rapidly, particularly in countries with low and middle incomes. A reappraisal of global prevalence and numbers is due, given the significant implications for social and public policy and planning. In this study we provide a systematic review of the global literature on the prevalence of dementia (1980-2009) and metaanalysis to estimate the prevalence and numbers of those affected, aged ≥60 years in 21 Global Burden of Disease regions. Age-standardized prevalence for those aged ≥60 years varied in a narrow band, 5%-7% in most world regions, with a higher prevalence in Latin America (8.5%), and a distinctively lower prevalence in the four sub-Saharan African regions (2%-4%). It was estimated that 35.6 million people lived with dementia worldwide in 2010, with numbers expected to almost double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050. In 2010, 58% of all people with dementia lived in countries with low or middle incomes, with this proportion anticipated to rise to 63% in 2030 and 71% in 2050. The detailed estimates in this study constitute the best current basis for policymaking, planning, and allocation of health and welfare resources in dementia care. The age-specific prevalence of dementia varies little between world regions, and may converge further. Future projections of numbers of people with dementia may be modified substantially by preventive interventions (lowering incidence), improvements in treatment and care (prolonging survival), and disease-modifying interventions (preventing or slowing progression). All countries need to commission nationally representative surveys that are repeated regularly to monitor trends. Copyright © 2013 The Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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          The projected effect of risk factor reduction on Alzheimer's disease prevalence.

          At present, about 33·9 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's disease (AD), and prevalence is expected to triple over the next 40 years. The aim of this Review was to summarise the evidence regarding seven potentially modifiable risk factors for AD: diabetes, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, smoking, depression, cognitive inactivity or low educational attainment, and physical inactivity. Additionally, we projected the effect of risk factor reduction on AD prevalence by calculating population attributable risks (the percent of cases attributable to a given factor) and the number of AD cases that might be prevented by risk factor reductions of 10% and 25% worldwide and in the USA. Together, up to half of AD cases worldwide (17·2 million) and in the USA (2·9 million) are potentially attributable to these factors. A 10-25% reduction in all seven risk factors could potentially prevent as many as 1·1-3·0 million AD cases worldwide and 184,000-492,000 cases in the USA. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]The Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care, Health Service & Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, PO 36, David Goldberg Centre, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF UK
            [2 ]Department of Public Health and Primary Care, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
            [3 ]Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
            [4 ]Cambridge Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
            Contributors
            martin.prince@kcl.ac.uk
            Journal
            Alzheimers Res Ther
            Alzheimers Res Ther
            Alzheimer's Research & Therapy
            BioMed Central (London )
            1758-9193
            30 July 2016
            30 July 2016
            2016
            : 8
            27473681
            4967299
            188
            10.1186/s13195-016-0188-8
            © Prince et al. 2016

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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