Background/aims: To analyze the prevalence of dementia by severity and to describe the sociodemographic characteristics of people with dementia in the community, as well as the consequences of this disease in terms of disability and institutionalization.
Methods: This study was based on the PAQUID community-based cohort study of 1,461 subjects aged 75 years or over. Severity of dementia was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
Results: The prevalence of dementia was estimated to be 17.8%, with about 43% at a moderately severe or more severe stage of the disease (MMSE <or= 15). About 39% of the people with dementia lived in an institution. Among the institutionalized residents, 71.6% were diagnosed as demented. About 57% of the people with dementia were ADL disabled. In this over-75 population, people with dementia accounted for 74% of the ADL-disabled subjects. The consequences of dementia were particularly frequent among the subjects who were at least at a moderately severe stage of dementia, with 59.6% of them living in institution and 87.2% being ADL disabled.
Conclusion: These results confirm the high prevalence of dementia in subjects aged over 75 and illustrate the devastating consequences of this disease in terms of disability and institutionalization.