Objective: To study undiagnosed diseases in older people with and without dementia.
Design: Cross-sectional population-based study in Lieto, southwestern Finland.
Participants: All the inhabitants aged 64 and more in Lieto. Participation rate was 82% (n = 1,260).
Measurements: Dementia and its subtypes were diagnosed according to prevailing criteria. Medical conditions were assessed in clinical examinations and from medical records.
Results: 112 patients with dementia were found; 66% of them had at least 1 undiagnosed disease compared to 48% of the non-demented group (p = 0.041). The demented subjects had more undiagnosed hypercholesterolaemia (p = 0.039) and undiagnosed hypothyroidism (p = 0.032) than the controls.
Conclusion: Undiagnosing is more common among patients with dementia. Screening strategies should be developed further to find these patients.
2004 S. Karger AG, Basel