Population attributable fraction of modifiable risk factors for dementia in Chile

Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2022 Feb 23;14(1):e12273. doi: 10.1002/dad2.12273. eCollection 2022.


Introduction: Projected dementia incidence in Latin America and the Caribbean for the next decades is overwhelming. Access to local data, stratified by sex, is imperative for planning precise dementia-prevention strategies.

Methods: We analyzed the individual and overall weighted population attributable fraction (PAF) of nine modifiable risk factors for dementia, in dementia-free subjects ≥45-years-old, using the 2016-2017 Chilean National Health Survey.

Results: The overall weighted PAF for modifiable risk factors was 45.8% (42.2% to 49.3%). Variables with the highest PAF were lower education, high blood pressure, hearing loss, and obesity. Women showed a greater overall weighted PAF: 50.7% (45.3% to -56.1%), compared to men: 40.2% (35.4% to 45.0%), driven by a higher PAF for physical inactivity and depression in women.

Discussion: The PAF for modifiable risk factors for dementia in Chile is higher than in previous world reports, due to a greater prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Women have a higher potential for dementia prevention.

Highlights: The proportion of dementia associated to modifiable risk factors in Chile is 45.8%.The main modifiable risk factors are high blood pressure, obesity, and hearing loss.Women had a greater prevalence of physical inactivity and depression than men.Chile had a greater prevalence of metabolic risk factors than other world regions.

Keywords: Latin America and the Caribbean; cardiovascular; dementia; depression; hypertension; midlife; modifiable risk factors; obesity; physical inactivity; population attributable fraction; prevention.