Aging Research Reviews
3 August 2022, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2022.101703
Fabiana Ribeiro is a postdoctoral researcher in the CRISP project.
What is the rate of dementia in Latin America and the Caribbean? What are the differences by sex/gender, education, and which risk factors are associated with cognitive impairment? Fabiana Ribeiro, postdoc researcher in the CRISP project, has led three publications to understand social and behavioral determinants of cognitive ageing in the lower-resource settings of Brazil and Latin America at large. This meta-analysis is the most comprehensive assessment of the prevalence of dementia in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Earlier research suggested that the prevalence of dementia in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) may be higher than in high-income countries. We explored sex, education and urban vs rural residence as determinants that may lead to this disparity in LAC countries. We searched Pubmed, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Lilacs, and SciELO for studies on dementia in LAC countries published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Random-effects models were applied.
Thirty-one studies from 17 LAC countries were included. Pooled prevalence of all-cause dementia was 10.66%. Further analyses with studies providing raw prevalence by sex, area, and educational level showed a higher prevalence for women (8.97%) than for men (7.26%). Also, dementia prevalence was higher for rural than urban residents (7.71% vs 8.68%, respectively). Participants without formal education presented more than double the prevalence of dementia (21.37%) compared to those with at least one year of formal education (9.88%). Studies with more recent data collection showed higher dementia prevalence.
Our findings suggest a high global dementia prevalence in LAC countries and an unequal burden of dementia for women, lower-educated, and rural residents. Secular increases in dementia prevalence call for greater public health efforts for preventative actions.
This study has been published as pre-print: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.10.15.21265054v1