Detection of dementia in primary care: the Linköping study

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2000 Jul-Aug;11(4):223-9. doi: 10.1159/000017241.


We examined to what extent dementia and cognitive impairment are detected in a primary health care centre. A systematic sample of patients aged 70 years and above, who attended a primary health care centre for a doctor's consultation (n = 350) were examined with a neuropsychiatric examination and an interview with a close informant. Dementia was diagnosed according to DSM-III-R. Medical records from the health centre were examined for entries on cognitive decline or dementia, other diagnoses and prescribed drugs. The prevalence of dementia was 16.3% and a further 3.1% had questionable dementia. Cognitive disturbances or dementia were noted in case records in 15 out of 57 (26%) demented cases, and in 1 out of 11 (9%) questionable dementias. Compared to non-demented patients, the demented had more diagnoses and a higher number of prescribed drugs. Severity and duration of dementia were associated with an increased detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Population Surveillance
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sweden / epidemiology