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Illiteracy and the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in the Yonchon County survey, Korea

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2008

Jun-Young Lee
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Boramae Hospital, Korea
Sung Man Chang
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea
Hong-Suk Jang
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Incheon Medical Center, Korea
Jae Seung Chang
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul Municipal Eunpyeong Hospital, Korea
Guk-Hee Suh
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Korea
Hee-Yeon Jung
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Boramae Hospital, Korea
Hong-Jin Jeon
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea
Maeng Je Cho
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Background: This study aims to establish the incidence rates of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to understand the relations between illiteracy and AD in the Korean Yonchon survey cohort.

Methods: A community-based, dementia-free cohort of 966 people aged 65 years and older was followed up for an average of 5.4 ± 1.60 years to detect incident AD cases using a two-phase procedure. Age-specific incidence rates were calculated using a person-years approach with Poisson distribution confidence intervals. Data were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model to find the hazard ratio of illiteracy.

Results: The participating percentage of the survivors was 86.4% and 74 subjects were diagnosed with AD. Incidence rates per 1000 person-years were 20.99 (95% CI 16.48 to 26.35) for AD. The hazard ratio of illiteracy was 1.78 (95% CI 1.08 to 2.93) adjusted for age, sex, educational level. AD developed more rapidly with aging in the illiterate group than in the literate group.

Conclusions: Illiteracy is associated with a higher risk of AD and the risk increases with age.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2008

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