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Front Aging Neurosci. 2017 Jul 13;9:221. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00221. eCollection 2017.

Dementia in Latin America: Epidemiological Evidence and Implications for Public Policy.

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Unidad de diagnóstico de deterioro cognitivo y prevención de demencia, Departamento de Neurología, Instituto Peruano de NeurocienciasLima, Peru.
Gerosciences Center for Brain Health and Metabolism (GERO)Santiago, Chile.
Department of Surgery and Cancer, National Institute for Health Research Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, Imperial College LondonLondon, United Kingdom.
Psychology Department, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universidad de ChileSantiago, Chile.
Physiopathology Department, ICBM, and East Neuroscience Department, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de ChileSantiago, Chile.
Cognitive Neurology and Dementia Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital del SalvadorSantiago, Chile.
Center for Advanced Research in Education (CIAE), Universidad de ChileSantiago, Chile.
Servicio de Neurología, Departamento de Medicina, Clínica Alemana-Universidad del DesarrolloSantiago, Chile.


Population aging is among the most important global transformations. Today, 12% of the world population is of age 60 and over and by the middle of this century this segment will represent 21.5%. The increase in population of those aged 80 and over, also referred to as the "oldest old" or the "very elderly", will be even more pronounced, going from 1.7% of the population to 4.5% within the same period. Compared to European and North American countries, Latin America (LA) is experiencing this unprecedented demographic change at a significantly faster rate. Due to demographic and health transitions, the number of people with dementia will rise from 7.8 million in 2013 to over 27 million by 2050. Nowadays, the global prevalence of dementia in LA has reached 7.1%, with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) being the most frequent type. This level is similar to those found in developed countries; however, the dementia rate is twice as high as that of the 65-69 years age group in developed countries. In addition, the prevalence and incidence of dementia is higher among illiterate people. Mortality rates due to dementia have risen considerably. The burden and costs of the disease are high and must be covered by patients' families. The prevention of dementia and the development of long-term care policies and plans for people with dementia in LA, which take into account regional differences and similarities, should be urgent priorities.


Alzheimer; Latin America; caregiver burden; cost of dementia; dementia; dementia plan; epidemiology; public policy

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