Povova and colleagues have a paper in the journal ‘Biomedical Papers’ titled ‘Epidemiology of and Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Review’ which is freely available here. I found the paper interesting for the coverage of two areas
1. Prevalence and incidence rates. The authors have gathered data from numerous studies. Prevalence data will vary according to the study methodology and the characteristics of the target population. The authors refer to a 2005 Delphi Study published in the Lancet with an estimated prevalence globally of 3.9% in people over 60 years of age. However the prevalence varies considerably between countries. For the incidence of Dementia, the authors look at a number of prospective studies and express the findings in 1000 person-years. From the data it is clear that the sampling method is critical for the interpretation of the results. Although two studies may calculate the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease in people over the age of 65 the average age of the sampled population as well as many other variables are critical in generalising these findings to other populations. Nevertheless regardless of the methodology, with figures ranging from 6.3 to 86.7 per 1000 person years it is clear that there is a significant disease burden in the sampled populations.
2. Prevention. The authors look at prevention focusing on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies highlighting the role that medication, diagnosis and modifiable risk factors play in prevention.
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