Risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer's disease: a population-based, case-control study

Ann Neurol. 1993 Mar;33(3):258-66. doi: 10.1002/ana.410330306.


Our current knowledge of risk factors for Alzheimer's disease is limited and primarily addresses early-onset disease. This study aimed to determine the risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer's disease using a case-control approach. Ninety-eight cases and 216 controls were gathered from an ongoing population survey on aging and dementia in Stockholm (the Kungsholmen Project). We found a high relative risk (3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-5.7) with the presence of at least one first-degree relative affected by dementia. Among all the other risk factors, alcohol abuse (relative risk, 4.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-13.8) and manual work (relative risk for men of 5.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-25.5) emerged as positively associated. No clear association was found with a family history of Parkinson disease, advanced parental age at index delivery, season of birth, or previous head trauma. In conclusion, our data suggest that the main risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease is a family history of dementia, as has been previously reported for early-onset disease. Moreover, alcohol abuse and occupational exposure might play a specific role for this form of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Paternal Age
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology