Predictive value of mild cognitive impairment for dementia. The influence of case definition and age

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;27(2):173-81. doi: 10.1159/000200465. Epub 2009 Feb 7.


Background/aims: In population studies, different mild cognitive impairment (MCI) definitions have been used to predict dementia at a later stage. This study compared predictive values of different MCI definitions for dementia, and the effect of age on the predictive values was investigated.

Methods: This study was conducted as part of an ongoing longitudinal study into the determinants of cognitive aging, the Maastricht Aging Study.

Results: MCI best predicted dementia when multiple cognitive domains were considered and subjective complaints were not (sensitivity: 0.66, specificity: 0.78). Age had a strong influence on the sensitivity of MCI for dementia (age 60-70 years: sensitivity = 0.56; age 70-85 years: sensitivity = 0.70).

Conclusion: The inclusion of multiple cognitive domains and participants aged 70 years and older leads to the best prediction of dementia, regardless of subjective complaints.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve