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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Prevalence of dementia in India

Till recently, the consensus figure for prevalence of dementia in India was used from the paper, Global prevalence of dementia: a Delphi consensus study. This paper gives the 2001 dementia population of India as 1.5 million. According to the paper, this is set to increase by more than 300% by 2040 (that is, it is estimated to reach six million).

The Dementia India Report 2010 released in September 2010 estimates the prevalence as higher than those estimated by the above Delhi consensus. According to the report:

For the year 2010, an estimated 3.7 million India people aged over 60 have dementia (2.1 million women and 1.5 million men).

The report points out that Indian studies of dementia have not been uniform across the country, with six studies from the Southern region and one each from the West, East, and Northern region. There has been a wide variation in the estimates, making it difficult to provide a consistent view for the entire country. The report uses quantitative meta-analysis to synthesize the evidence for prevalence of dementia.

An interesting observation while discussing methodological constraints is that, when the estimates of prevalence depend on reporting of cognitive decline and social impairment, the surveys underestimate prevalence because the poor awareness of dementia results in under-reporting of problems by informants/ carers.

Hopefully, as awareness grows, and as various concerned bodies conduct more studies, we will have a better idea of the true prevalence.

to know more :


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