Dementia is a growing public health problem because the numbers suffering the disease is increasing rapidly as the population ages. Over the past decade several longitudinal population-based studies were initiated and are still on-going. These studies will provide valuable insight into the risk factors for, and progression of dementia. However, there are several design and statistical challenges that are unique to studying dementia in the population and that need to be addressed. These challenges include aspects of both ascertainment of disease and definition of exposure. To reduce bias from prospective epidemiologic studies, not only are new approaches to definition of disease and exposure needed, but new epidemiologic or statistical methods may be required as well.
Published in 2004 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.