Early cognitive markers of the incidence of dementia and mortality: a longitudinal population-based study of the oldest old

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1997 Jan;12(1):53-9. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1166(199701)12:1<53::aid-gps507>3.0.co;2-m.


This study examines whether cognitive markers at prior examinations are indicative of subsequent dementia and mortality. The sample was composed of subjects aged 84-90 at baseline who were reexamined three times over a 6-year period on a comprehensive biobehavioral battery. Dementia was evaluated at each examination using DSM-III-R criteria. Results indicated that incident cases of dementia had lower cognitive scores both 2 and 4 years prior to diagnosis, compared to non-demented survivors. Evidence for terminal decline was also found, as people who subsequently died also had lower cognitive performance at prior examinations, compared to non-demented survivors. The findings suggest that mild cognitive dysfunction is an important clinical finding among the oldest old and may herald either the onset of dementia or mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over*
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognition*
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / mortality*
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prognosis
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Biomarkers