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The prevalence of dementia in a population-based study carried out in Granarolo, Ravenna

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2011

Diana De Ronchi*
Affiliation:
Istituto di Psichiatria “P. Ottonello”, Università di Bologna, Bologna Division of Geriatric Epidemiology, NEUROTEC, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Elisa Bucchi
Affiliation:
Istituto di Psichiatria “P. Ottonello”, Università di Bologna, Bologna
Monica Pederzini
Affiliation:
Istituto di Psichiatria “P. Ottonello”, Università di Bologna, Bologna
Sara Scaini
Affiliation:
Istituto di Psichiatria “P. Ottonello”, Università di Bologna, Bologna
Carmine Petio
Affiliation:
Istituto di Psichiatria “P. Ottonello”, Università di Bologna, Bologna
Giuseppe Ferrari
Affiliation:
Istituto di Psichiatria “P. Ottonello”, Università di Bologna, Bologna
Edoardo Dalmonte
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Geriatria, Azienda ASL Ravenna, Faenza
*
Address for correspondence: Dr.ssa D. De Ronchi, Istituto di Psichiatria “P. Ottonello”, Università di Bologna, Viale Carlo Pepoli 5, 40123 Bologna. Fax: +39-051-521.030 E-mail: deronchi@alma.unibo.it

Summary

Objective – To evaluate the prevalence of dementia among persons born in the year 1930 or before, who were living in Granarolo, Ravenna province, on December 31, 1991. Design – Population study, carried out in two phases: in the first was phase all persons were administered two screening tests for dementia. In the second phase, persons who screened positive underwent detailed clinical and cognitive assessments. Main outcome measures – The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) were administered as screening tests. In the second phase the screened-positive subjects underwent a general and neurological examination, and a detailed neuropsychological assessment. Results – Of the 557 participants, 56 were clinically diagnosed as demented. Twenty-nine persons were diagnosed as affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 14 patients by vascular dementia (VaD). The crude prevalence ratios for dementia were 9.1% (95% C.I.= 5.29−12.89) for men and 12.7 % (95% C.I.= 8.84−16.6) for women. The prevalence of all dementias, as well as AD, increased steeply every five years of age for both men and women up to 90 years of age. Women had higher prevalence of all dementias and AD than men, more evident in the advanced ages. Conclusions – Our findings are in agreement with similar studies carried out in European populations, showing that prevalence of dementia increases with increasing age. If we consider that in Italy the oldest (those 80 years and older) are the fastest growing part of the elderly population, we can expect that dementia will be a major emerging public health problem, as it is one of the most common diseases in the very elderly and a major cause of disability and mortality.

Riassunto

Scopo – Valutare la prevalenza della demenza e dei diversi tipi di demenza tra i soggetti con più di 60 anni d'eta residenti a Granarolo (RA) alia data del 31.12.1991. Disegno – Studio di popolazione, articolato in due fasi. Nella prima fase l'intera popolazione anziana e stata studiata mediante test di screening, nella seconda i soggetti positivi ai test sono stati sottoposti ad indagini più specifiche. Principali misure utilizzate – Nella prima fase sono stati utilizzati il Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) e la Global Deterioration Scale (GDS). Nella seconda fase erano previste una visita medica, una valutazione neurologica, la somministrazione di test neuropsicologici e la diagnosi di demenza in accordo con i criteri del DSM-III-R. Risultati – Dei 557 partecipanti allo studio, 56 risultarono dementi. Per 29 persone fu formulata la diagnosi di Malattia di Alzheimer (AD) e per 14 pazienti la diagnosi di demenza di tipo vascolare (VaD). Il tasso di prevalenza della demenza era 11.1%, 9.1% per gli uomini (95% CI=5.29−12.89) e 12.7% per le donne (95% CI=8.84−16.6). La prevalenza della demenza nel suo insieme, cosi come dell'ad, aumentava in modo esponenziale ogni cinque anni in entrambi i sessi fino ai 90 anni di eta. Le donne evidenziavano una più elevata prevalenza della demenza in generale e di AD rispetto agli uomini e tale dato era più evidente nelle eta più avanzate. Conclusioni – I nostri dati concordano con quelli emersi in altri studi europei ed evidenziano come la prevalenza della demenza aumenti con l'elevarsi dell'eta. Se pensiamo che in Italia i grandi anziani (coloro con più di 80 anni) sono la parte di popolazione che aumenta più rapidamente rispetto alle altre fasce di eta, possiamo attenderci che la demenza diventera sempre più un problema di salute pubblica di grandissima rilevanza, essendo la più frequente patologia della popolazione molto anziana e causa primaria di disabilità e mortalità.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2002

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