The Prevalence and Incidence of Dementia with Lewy Bodies: a Systematic Review

Can J Neurol Sci. 2016 Apr:43 Suppl 1:S83-95. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2016.2.


Background: Population-based prevalence and incidence studies are essential for understanding the societal burden of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

Methods: The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched to identify publications addressing the incidence and/or prevalence of DLB. References of included articles and prior systematic reviews were searched for additional studies. Two reviewers screened all abstracts and full-text reviews, abstracted data and performed quality assessments.

Results: Twenty-two studies were included. Incidence rates ranged from 0.5 to 1.6 per 1000 person-years. DLB accounted for 3.2-7.1% of all dementia cases in the incidence studies. Point and period prevalence estimates ranged from 0.02 to 63.5 per 1000 persons. Increasing prevalence estimates were reported with increasing age. DLB accounted for from 0.3 to 24.4% of all cases of dementia in the prevalence studies.

Conclusions: DLB becomes more common with increasing age and accounts for about 5% of all dementia cases in older populations.

Keywords: Dementia with Lewy bodies; Lewy body disease; epidemiology; incidence; prevalence; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lewy Body Disease / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence