Prevalence of dementia among elderly Brazilians: a systematic review

  • Fagundes S
  • Silva M
  • Thees M
 et al. 
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CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: The rapid growth of the elderly population in Brazil has implied a significant rise in the number of individuals with dementia. The real prevalence of this disease needs to be ascertained in order to establish appropriate measures for improving the quality of life of those affected. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of dementia among elderly Brazilians (> 60 years) through a systematic review of high-quality, population-based, double-blind studies published between 1990 and 2010. DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic review of prevalence studies. The manuscript was produced in the School of Medicine, Universidade de Brasília. METHODS: Database searches for articles were conducted in Medline (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online), Embase (Excerpta Medica database), Lilacs (Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe em Ciências da Saúde), SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online) and theses and dissertations, using specific keywords. Quality was assessed according to eight criteria for sampling and measurement of findings. RESULTS: Out of 112 articles identified, eleven were included in the qualitative synthesis. In five higher-quality studies from São Paulo, the prevalence rates ranged from 5.1 to 19.0%. No meta-analysis was presented because of heterogeneity among the studies. Poor, illiterate, female and very elderly individuals were the groups most affected. CONCLUSION: The findings from this review did not reflect the reality of the whole country. Although the results brought some information on the prevalence and distribution of dementia in Brazil, cross-sectional studies with consistent methodology are needed

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  • Susana Dytz Fagundes

  • Marcus Tolentino Silva

  • Maria Fernanda Reis Silva Thees

  • Maurício Gomes Pereira

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