MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Emma van Bussel MD, MSc
Academic Medical Center | University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam | The Netherlands
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Dementia forms a high social and economic burden on society. Since there is a growing number of older people, the occurrence of dementia is expected to increase over the years to come. For future planning of care, it is important to have reliable predictions on new dementia cases for the population at large. Studies in Western countries suggested that the incidence per 1000 person years is declining.
We studied the incidence trend of dementia in the Netherlands in primary care registry data, in a population of over 800,000 older people (60 years and over) for the years 1992 to 2014. Our results indicate a small increase of 2.1% (95% CI 0.5% to 3.8%) per year in dementia incidence over the past decades. The trend did not change in the years after 2003, when a national program was developed to support dementia care and research, compared to the years prior to 2003.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: In contrast to other reports, we found no evidence for a declining trend in dementia incidence rates in the Netherlands, over the past decades. Increased awareness of the disease by patients and doctors may have led to earlier diagnosis, which could have influenced the number of registered dementia cases in more recent years.
Hence, with the ageing of Western societies, we still need to anticipate a substantial absolute increase in dementia occurrence over the years to come, and the growing need for long-term care facilities.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Results from other long-term population studies in high-income countries are needed to confirm our findings and to explore the impact of dementia risk factors on incidence trends in ageing societies.
No conflicts of interests to disclose
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