Dementia subtypes in China: prevalence in Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, and Chengdu

Arch Neurol. 2005 Mar;62(3):447-53. doi: 10.1001/archneur.62.3.447.


Background: Prevalences of Alzheimer disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) in China reportedly differ from those in Western countries.

Objective: To estimate prevalence of AD and VaD in 4 regions of China.

Design: Cross-sectional, population-based prevalence survey with a stratified, multistage cluster sampling design.

Setting: Rural (n = 99) and urbanized (n = 71) communities of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, and Chengdu.

Participants: A sample of 34 807 community residents (94% of those eligible) 55 years or older.

Main outcome measures: Participants were screened with the Chinese Mini-Mental State Examination. Those who screened positive (n = 3950) underwent a standardized diagnostic workup. Screening sensitivity was assessed in a 3.3% random sample (n = 1008 of the 30 857 who passed the screening). Diagnoses of AD and VaD were made according to National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke-Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders Association and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-Association Internationale pour la Recherche et l'Enseignement en Neurosciences criteria, respectively. Final diagnoses were made after a 6-month confirmation interval.

Results: We identified 732 AD cases and 295 VaD cases. Prevalence in persons 65 years or older was 3.5% (95% confidence interval, 3.0%-3.9%) for AD and 1.1% (95% confidence interval, 0.9%-1.1%) for VaD. After post hoc correction for negative screening errors, prevalence increased to 4.8% for AD and remained at 1.1% for VaD.

Conclusion: Prevalence of dementia subtypes in China is comparable with that in Western countries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia, Vascular / diagnosis
  • Dementia, Vascular / epidemiology*
  • Dementia, Vascular / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Residence Characteristics