New test predicts dementia 20 years ahead
The dementia risk score is a novel approach for the prediction of the risk of late-life dementia in people of middle-age, according to new research from Karolinska Institutet. The findings are published online by the Lancet Neurology.
Dr. Miia Kivipelto and colleagues conducted a population-based study called CAIDE (Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia) among 1409 randomly selected individuals aged 65-79 from Eastern Finland. The study was collaboration between Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and University of Kuopio, and National Public Health Institute in Finland. The participants of the CAIDE study had been previously surveyed for their weight, height, cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the frame-work of North Karelia Project and FINMONICA study in 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987 when they were around 50 years. The investigators re-examined the participants about 20 years later in 1998 for signs of dementia.
The authors wanted to develop a simple scoring tool that could be used to calculate the risk of dementia for a person that has a certain set of risk factors at midlife. The dementia risk score included variables that were significantly associated with the risk of dementia later in life, including age, education, blood pressure, serum cholesterol values, body mass index and physical activity at midlife. The dementia risk score predicted dementia well and the probability of dementia increased as the risk score became greater.
The authors point out that the dementia risk score highlights the role of vascular and lifestyle related factors in the development of dementia, and could help to identify individuals who might benefit from intensive lifestyle consultations and pharmacological interventions. The authors also remind that the risk score should be validated and further improved (e.g. by adding new variables) to increase its predictive value.
"Risk score for prediction of dementia risk in 20 years among middle-aged people: a longitudinal, population based study."
Miia Kivipelto, Tiina Ngandu, Tiina Laatkainen, Bengt Winblad, Hikka Saininen and Jaakko Toumietho.
Lancet Neurology online, 3 augusti 2006, DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(06)70537-3