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Vascular dementia (VD) is one of the more common types of dementia. Much is known about VD in older adults in terms of survival and associated risk factors, but comparatively less is known about VD in a younger population. This study aimed to investigate survival in people with young-onset VD (YO-VD) compared to those with late-onset VD (LO-VD) and to investigate predictors of mortality.
Retrospective file review from 1992 to 2014.
The inpatient unit of a tertiary neuropsychiatry service in Victoria, Australia.
Inpatients with a diagnosis of VD.
Measurements and methods:
Mortality information was obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Clinical variables included age of onset, sex, vascular risk factors, structural neuroimaging, and Hachinksi scores. Statistical analyses used were Kaplan–Meier curves for median survival and Cox regression for predictors of mortality.
Eighty-four participants were included with few clinical differences between the LO-VD and YO-VD groups. Sixty-eight (81%) had died. Median survival was 9.9 years (95% confidence interval 7.9, 11.7), with those with LO-VD having significantly shorter survival compared to those with YO-VD (6.1 years and 12.8 years, respectively) and proportionally more with LO-VD had died (94.6%) compared to those with YO-VD (67.5%), χ2(1) = 9.16, p = 0.002. The only significant predictor of mortality was increasing age (p = 0.001).
While there were few clinical differences, and older age was the only factor associated with survival, further research into the effects of managing cardiovascular risk factors and their impact on survival are recommended.