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Prevalence of dementia in rural China: impact of age, gender and education

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Zhou DF, Wu CS, Qi H, Fan JH, Sun XD, Como P, Qiao YL, Zhang L, Kieburtz K. Prevalence of dementia in rural China: impact of age, gender and education.

Acta Neurol Scand 2006: 114: 273–280.

© 2006 The Authors Journal compilation 2006 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objective – 

To determine the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in rural China. Methods – 

A cross-sectional study was conducted within a cohort of adults older than 50 years of age in Linxian County, China. A Chinese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (CMMSE) was used to screen cases of possible dementia. Three different cutoff points on CMMSE were applied depending on the participant's level of education. The participants then were given psychiatric interviews, medical and neurological examinations, and psychometric tests to ascertain the clinical diagnoses of dementia and AD. Results – 

Among the 16,095 participants, 5.26% were screened positive with 374 diagnosed as having dementia. Among them, AD accounted for 80.5%. The adjusted prevalence rates were 0.33%, 0.89%, 3.43%, and 8.19% in people in age groups 50–54, 55–64, 65–74, and 75 and above, respectively. The prevalence of AD correlated with the participant's level of education, and was 2.61%, 0.94%, and 0.56% in the illiterate group, in the primary school group, and in the middle school or higher group, respectively. Adjusted by education levels a higher prevalence in women was observed in the illiterate group. Conclusions – 

The prevalence of dementia in this population is similar to that reported from other areas in mainland China and Taiwan with aging being a significant risk factor. After controlling for age, being a female and having received less number of years of education were associated with an higher prevalence of AD.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; dementia; neuroepidemiology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Mental Health, Beijing University, Beijing, China 2: Cancer Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China 3: Departments of Neurology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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