Mild cognitive impairment: prevalence and predictive validity according to current approaches

Acta Neurol Scand. 2003 Aug;108(2):71-81. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0404.2003.00118.x.


Objectives: Mild cognitive impairment is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. However, there is no consensus on diagnostic criteria and different concepts have rarely been evaluated in population-based samples. This paper compares the prevalences and predictive validities for different concepts in a population-based study. The aim was to identify a concept with the best relation of sensitivity and specificity in the prediction of dementia.

Material and methods: A community sample of 1045 dementia-free individuals aged 75 years and over was examined by neuropsychological testing in a three-wave longitudinal study.

Results: Prevalence rates ranged from 3 to 36% according to the concept applied. Conversion rates to dementia over 2.6 years ranged from 23 to 47%. In addition, receiver operating characteristic curves indicated that all but one concept for mild cognitive impairment could predict dementia.

Conclusion: Mild cognitive impairment is very frequent in older people. Prevalences and predictive validities are highly dependent on the diagnostic criteria applied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity