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Alberta is a Canadian province with a high prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS). In this ecological study, we examined group differences in health care utilization among persons with MS (pwMS) living within different regions of the province.
pwMS were identified from provincial administrative databases spanning 2002–2011. Utilization of health care services was determined for a 2-year period (April 2010–March 2012). Residential postal codes placed patients into their provincial health care zones. As data were provided to the investigators in an aggregated form, tests of statistical significance and confounding were not performed.
In total, 11,721 pwMS were identified. During the 2-year observation period, 96.2% of pwMS accessed a family physician and 57.1% accessed a neurologist. Nearly all (99.0%) pwMS who received neurologist care in Calgary visited an MS clinic, in contrast to Edmonton where a larger proportion (34.8%) received solely community neurologist care. More pwMS living in Edmonton accessed the ED (41.1%) compared to Calgary (35.7%), and the rate of visits per pwMS was higher in Edmonton (1.07/pwMS) than in Calgary (0.81/pwMS). The frequency of inpatient admissions was similar.
Over 2 years, most pwMS accessed primary care and over half saw a neurologist. Despite a similar frequency of inpatient admissions, the frequency of ED visits by pwMS was higher in Edmonton compared to Calgary, where more patients received MS clinic care. Although this exploratory study is subject to several limitations, our findings suggest that specialized MS clinics may reduce costly ED visits.
Population-based prevalence and incidence studies are essential for understanding the burden of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched to identify population-based publications from 1985 to 2012, addressing the incidence and/or prevalence of FTD. References of included articles and prior systematic reviews were searched for additional studies. Two reviewers screened all abstracts and full-text reviews, abstracted data and performed quality assessments.
Twenty-six studies were included. Methodological limitations led to wide ranges in the estimates for prevalence (point prevalence 0.01-4.6 per 1000 persons; period prevalence 0.16-31.04 per 1000 persons) and incidence (0.0-0.3 per 1000 person-years). FTD accounted for an average of 2.7% (range 0-9.1%) of all dementia cases among prevalence studies that included subjects 65 and older compared to 10.2% (range 2.8-15.7%) in studies restricted to those aged less than 65. The cumulative numbers of male (373 [52.5%]) and female (338 [47.5%]) cases from studies reporting this information were nearly equal (p=0.18). The behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD) was almost four times as common as the primary progressive aphasias.
Population-based estimates for the epidemiology of FTD varied widely in the included studies. Refinements in the diagnostic process, possibly by the use of validated biomarkers or limiting case ascertainment to specialty services, are needed to obtain more precise estimates of the prevalence and incidence of FTD.
Population-based prevalence and incidence studies are essential for understanding the societal burden of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched to identify publications addressing the incidence and/or prevalence of DLB. References of included articles and prior systematic reviews were searched for additional studies. Two reviewers screened all abstracts and full-text reviews, abstracted data and performed quality assessments.
Twenty-two studies were included. Incidence rates ranged from 0.5 to 1.6 per 1000 person-years. DLB accounted for 3.2-7.1% of all dementia cases in the incidence studies. Point and period prevalence estimates ranged from 0.02 to 63.5 per 1000 persons. Increasing prevalence estimates were reported with increasing age. DLB accounted for from 0.3 to 24.4% of all cases of dementia in the prevalence studies.
DLB becomes more common with increasing age and accounts for about 5% of all dementia cases in older populations.
Updated information on the epidemiology of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is needed to ensure that adequate resources are available to meet current and future healthcare needs. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence and prevalence of AD.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched from 1985 to 2012, as well as the reference lists of selected articles. Included articles had to provide an original population-based estimate for the incidence and/or prevalence of AD. Two individuals independently performed abstract and full-text reviews, data extraction and quality assessments. Random-effects models were employed to generate pooled estimates stratified by age, sex, diagnostic criteria, location (i.e., continent) and time (i.e., when the study was done).
Of 16,066 abstracts screened, 707 articles were selected for full-text review. A total of 119 studies met the inclusion criteria. In community settings, the overall point prevalence of dementia due to AD among individuals 60+ was 40.2 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 29.1-55.6), and pooled annual period prevalence was 30.4 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 15.6-59.1). In community settings, the overall pooled annual incidence proportion of dementia due to AD among individuals 60+ was 34.1 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 16.4-70.9), and the incidence rate was 15.8 per 1000 person-years (CI95%: 12.9-19.4). Estimates varied significantly with age, diagnostic criteria used and location (i.e., continent).
The burden of AD dementia is substantial. Significant gaps in our understanding of its epidemiology were identified, even in a high-income country such as Canada. Future studies should assess the impact of using such newer clinical diagnostic criteria for AD dementia such as those of the National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association and/or incorporate validated biomarkers to confirm the presence of Alzheimer pathology to produce more precise estimates of the global burden of AD.
Dementia is a common neurological condition affecting many older individuals that leads to a loss of independence, diminished quality of life, premature mortality, caregiver burden and high levels of healthcare utilization and cost. This is an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the worldwide prevalence and incidence of dementia.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for relevant studies published between 2000 (1985 for Canadian papers) and July of 2012. Papers selected for full-text review were included in the systematic review if they provided an original population-based estimate for the incidence and/or prevalence of dementia. The reference lists of included articles were also searched for additional studies. Two individuals independently performed abstract and full-text review, data extraction, and quality assessment of the papers. Random-effects models and/or meta-regression were used to generate pooled estimates by age, sex, setting (i.e., community, institution, both), diagnostic criteria utilized, location (i.e., continent) and year of data collection.
Of 16,066 abstracts screened, 707 articles were selected for full-text review. A total of 160 studies met the inclusion criteria. Among individuals 60 and over residing in the community, the pooled point and annual period prevalence estimates of dementia were 48.62 (CI95%: 41.98-56.32) and 69.07 (CI95%: 52.36-91.11) per 1000 persons, respectively. The respective pooled incidence rate (same age and setting) was 17.18 (CI95%: 13.90-21.23) per 1000 person-years, while the annual incidence proportion was 52.85 (CI95%: 33.08-84.42) per 1,000 persons. Increasing participant age was associated with a higher dementia prevalence and incidence. Annual period prevalence was higher in North America than in South America, Europe and Asia (in order of decreasing period prevalence) and higher in institutional compared to community and combined settings. Sex, diagnostic criteria (except for incidence proportion) and year of data collection were not associated with statistically significant different estimates of prevalence or incidence, though estimates were consistently higher for females than males.
Dementia is a common neurological condition in older individuals. Significant gaps in knowledge about its epidemiology were identified, particularly with regard to the incidence of dementia in low- and middle-income countries. Accurate estimates of prevalence and incidence of dementia are needed to plan for the health and social services that will be required to deal with an aging population.