On SAGE Insight: Description and Burden of Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Article title: The Cretan Aging Cohort: Cohort Description and Burden of Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment

From American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias®

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The aim of this study was to explore the burden of dementia in the Cretan Aging Cohort, comprised of 3140 persons aged ≥60 years (56.8% women, 5.8 ± 3.3 years formal education, 86.2% living in rural areas) who attended selected primary health-care facilities on the island of Crete, Greece. In the first study phase, a formal diagnosis of dementia had been reached in 4.0% of the participants. Selected 505 participants underwent thorough neuropsychiatric evaluation in the second phase of this study.

The results draw attention to a significant proportion of undiagnosed elders meeting formal criteria for dementia or MCI stressing the need for better diagnostic practices to ensure appropriate care delivery. The highest frequency of dementia in this large community-dwelling, predominantly rural, population was noted among the least educated age-group of 80 to 84 years olds. This finding links lack of childhood schooling (and its lifelong effect on overall learning and literacy) with the occurrence of dementia several decades later in a unique social setup (discontinuation of formal schooling for some years and its rapid reintroduction thereafter).

Abstract

Our aim was to explore the burden of dementia in the Cretan Aging Cohort, comprised of 3140 persons aged ≥60 years (56.8% women, 5.8 ± 3.3 years formal education, 86.2% living in rural areas) who attended selected primary health-care facilities on the island of Crete, Greece. In the first study phase, a formal diagnosis of dementia had been reached in 4.0% of the participants. However, when selected 505 participants underwent thorough neuropsychiatric evaluation in the second phase of this study (344 with Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] <24 and 161 with MMSE ≥24), and results were extrapolated to the entire cohort, the prevalence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment was estimated at 10.8% (9.7%-11.9%) and 32.4% (30.8%-34.0%), respectively. Using both the field diagnostic data and the extrapolated data, the highest dementia prevalence (27.2%) was found in the 80- to 84-year-old group, who also showed the lowest educational level, apparently due to lack of schooling during World War II.

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Article detailsThe Cretan Aging Cohort: Cohort Description and Burden of Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment
Ioannis V. Zaganas, Panagiotis Simos, Maria Basta, Stefania Kapetanaki, Symeon Panagiotakis, Irini Koutentaki, Nikolaos Fountoulakis, Antonios Bertsias, George Duijker, Chariklia Tziraki,, Nikolaos Scarmeas, Andreas Plaitakis, Dimitrios Boumpas, Christine Lionis, Alexandros N. Vgontzas,
First Published September 27, 2018 Research Article
DOi: 10.1177/1533317518802414
From American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias®

     
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