Norms for the mini-mental state examination: adjustment of the cut-off point in population-based studies (evidences from the Bambuí health aging study)

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2008 Sep;66(3A):524-8. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2008000400016.


Objective: To estimate the prevalence of cognitive impairment in an elderly population-based cohort, using several Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) cut-off points recommended by Brazilian authors and to examine the percentile distribution of MMSE scores in the study population.

Method: A total of 1558 subjects aged>60 years (89.4% of the total), living in the city of Bambuí, MG, completed the MMSE and were included in the present study.

Results: The estimated prevalences of cognitive impairment varied from 13.2% to 27.0% depending on the cut-off point and agreement varied widely between them (kappa range: 0.38 to 0.88). Cut-off point 13/14 corresponded to the 5th percentile and 21/22 corresponded to the lower quartile of the MMSE score distribution.

Conclusion: In the absence of comparable cut-off points, percentile distributions are more adequate for population-based studies of elderly with low schooling level.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale / standards*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sampling Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires