The prevalence of dementia in Europe: A collaborative study of 1980-1990 findings

A. Hofman, W. A. Rocca, C. Brayne, M. M.B. Breteler, M. Clarke, B. Cooper, J. R.M. Copeland, J. F. Dartigues, A. Da Silva Droux, O. Hagnell, T. J. Heeren, K. Engedal, C. Jonker, J. Lindesay, A. Lobo, A. H. Mann, P. K. Mölsä, K. Morgan, D. W. O'connor, R. SulkavaD. W.K. Kay, L. Amaducci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

615 Scopus citations


To obtain age- and gender-specific estimates of the prevalence of dementia in Europe and to study differences in prevalence across countries, we pooled and re-analysed original data of prevalence studies of dementia carried out in some European countries between 1980 and 1990. The study followed these steps: census of existing datasets, collection of data in a standardized format, selection of datasets suitable for comparison, comparison of age and gender patterns. From the 23 datasets of European surveys considered, 12 were selected for comparison. Only population-based studies in which dementia was defined by DSM-III or equivalent criteria and in which all subjects were examined personally were included. Studies in which institutionalized subjects were not investigated were excluded. Age- and gender-specific prevalences were compared within and across studies and overall prevalences were computed. Although prevalence estimates differed across studies, the general age- and gender-distribution was similar for all studies. The overall European prevalences for the five-year age groups from 60 to 94 years, were 1.0, 1.4, 4.1, 5.7, 13.0, 21.6 and 32.2%, respectively. In subjects under 75 years the prevalence of dementia was slightly higher in men than in women; in those aged 75 years or over the prevalence was higher in women. The prevalence figures nearly doubled with every five years of increase in age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-748
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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