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Stroke. 1992 Jun;23(6):798-803.

Prevalence and etiology of dementia in a Japanese community.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.



We sought to determine the type-specific prevalence of dementia and its risk factors in elderly persons from the Japanese community of Hisayama.


We studied the prevalence of dementia in 887 Hisayama residents (353 men and 534 women) aged 65 years or older (screening rate, 94.6%) using various items of clinical information, neurological examination, and dementia scales. We also studied brain morphology in 50 of 59 determined to have dementia by computed tomography or autopsy during the subsequent 54-month period. Factors relevant to dementia were compared between 27 patients with vascular dementia and 789 control subjects without dementia in a retrospective fashion.


The prevalence rate of dementia among Hisayama residents aged 65 or older was estimated at 6.7%, with a females to males ratio of 1:2. Among 50 cases of dementia in which brain morphology was examined, the frequency of vascular dementia was 56%; this rate was 2.2 times higher than that for senile dementia of the Alzheimer type. Aging, hypertension, electrocardiographic abnormalities, and high hematocrit were significantly (p less than 0.05) and independently associated with the occurrence of vascular dementia.


Prevalence of dementia among the Hisayama residents was relatively identical to that previously reported, but vascular dementia was more predominant. Risk factors for vascular dementia were similar to those for lacunar infarcts. Control of hypertension may be a key to reducing dementia among the Japanese population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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