Prevalence of dementia in elderly clients of a private health care plan: a study of the FIBRA-RJ, Brazil

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;35(1-2):77-86. doi: 10.1159/000345984. Epub 2013 Jan 29.


Aims: To describe the overall prevalence of dementia syndrome and its major subtypes among elderly clients of a private health care plan and to ascertain the association between this syndrome and socioeconomic characteristics.

Methods: A survey was organized in two stages: screening for cognitive impairment and diagnostic evaluation. The study population comprised 683 elderly subjects (aged >67 years), an expanded sample of 7,486 individuals, of the database of the FIBRA-RJ, which evaluated clients of a private health care plan residing in northern districts of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The diagnosis of dementia was obtained according to DSM-IV criteria.

Results: A total of 115 individuals were diagnosed with dementia, resulting in a prevalence of 16.9% (95% CI = 14.4-19.8). The association was strongest among older age groups, i.e. 85-89 years old (prevalence ratio = 8.85; 95% CI = 2.11-37.11) and 90 or more years old (prevalence ratio = 8.85; 95% CI = 2.11-37.11), and among illiterate people (prevalence ratio = 2.77; 95% CI = 1.07-7.19). Sex, personal income and marital status displayed no association with dementia.

Conclusion: The prevalence of dementia was higher than found by population-based studies. These findings point to a possibility of a high demand for specialized services among older adults served by the private health care sector.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Sample Size
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires