Dementia underlying cause in 3 times more deaths in U.S. than currently reported, study concludes

"Dementia may be responsible for almost three times more deaths in the United States than what is being reported, according to a new study out of Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).

"Our results indicate that the mortality burden of dementia may be greater than recognized, highlighting the importance of expanding dementia prevention and care," Dr. Andrew Stokes, the lead author of the study published in JAMA Neurology, said in a news release.


The study estimated that 13.6 percent of deaths in the U.S. are attributed to dementia, some 2.7 times more than the 5 percent of death certificates that stated the underlying cause of death was dementia.


"Understanding what people die of is essential for priority setting and resource allocation," Stokes said in a news release.


For the study, the researchers analyzed information from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which gathers data from individuals starting when they move into nursing homes. The researchers looked at data collected from a nationally representative cohort of 7,342 elderly adults from 2000 to 2009. They analyzed the correlation between death and dementia while adjusting for other variables including sex, age, race/ethnicity, medical diagnosis, education level, and region of the U.S, according to the news release. "


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