Background: Recent global meta-analyses show that 40% of dementia cases can be attributed to twelve modifiable risk factors.
Objective: To investigate how health promotion strategies may differ in specific populations, this study estimated population attributable fractions (PAFs) of these risk factors for dementia in cognitively normal (CN) individuals and individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in United States and Greek cohorts.
Methods: We re-analyzed data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Centre (NACC, n = 16,147, mean age 75.2±6.9 years, 59.0% female) and the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD, n = 1,141, mean age 72.9±5.0 years, 58.0% female). PAFs for the total samples and CN and MCI subgroups were calculated based on hazard ratios for the risk of dementia and risk factor prevalence in NACC (9 risk factors) and HELIAD (10 risk factors).
Results: In NACC, 2,630 participants developed MCI (25.1%) and 3,333 developed dementia (20.7%) during a mean follow-up of 4.9±3.5 years. Weighted overall PAFs were 19.4% in the total sample, 15.9% in the CN subgroup, and 3.3% in the MCI subgroup. In HELIAD, 131 participants developed MCI (11.2%) and 68 developed dementia (5.9%) during an average follow-up of 3.1±0.86 years. Weighted overall PAFs were 65.5% in the total sample, 65.8% in the CN subgroup and 64.6% in the MCI subgroup.
Conclusion: Translation of global meta-analysis data on modifiable risk factors should be carefully carried out per population. The PAFs of risk factors differ substantially across populations, directing health policy making to tailored risk factor modification plans.
Keywords: Dementia; mild cognitive impairment; prevention; risk factors.