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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 1998 Nov-Dec;27(3):189-221.

Alzheimer's disease: a review of the disease, its epidemiology and economic impact.

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Hoechst Marion Roussel Canada Research Inc., 2150 St-Elzear Blvd West, Laval, Qué., H7L 4A8, Canada.


This article consists of a critical review of Canadian, American and European studies published between 1976 and 1997 on the subject of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and its epidemiology, patterns of care, prognostic factors, and economic impact. As the population ages in North America and Europe, significant increases in the prevalence of AD over the next decades have been projected. The elderly population represents the largest consumer group of health care resources and the management of common diseases occurring in this population will have major medical, social, and economic implications. As a result, researchers will need to integrate the ever-increasing knowledge on AD when addressing governmental and societal concerns regarding its impact. Described herein is the study findings, limitations, and differences observed following the review of the diagnostic criteria, prevalence rates, incidence rates and risk factors. Highlighted are the areas where data is lacking. To refine current models of disease progression, and better address where health care resources and new therapies would be most beneficial, the review of predictors of institutionalization and predictive models of disease progression and survival, was performed. New research questions are indicated.


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