Prevalence of dementia in rural China: Impact of age, gender and education

D. F. Zhou, C. S. Wu, H. Qi, J. H. Fan, X. D. Sun, P. Como, Y. L. Qiao, Lin Zhang, K. Kieburtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Objective - To determine the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in rural China. Methods - A cross-sectional study was conducted within a cohort of adults older than 50 years of age in Linxian County, China. A Chinese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (CMMSE) was used to screen cases of possible dementia. Three different cutoff points on CMMSE were applied depending on the participant's level of education. The participants then were given psychiatric interviews, medical and neurological examinations, and psychometric tests to ascertain the clinical diagnoses of dementia and AD. Results - Among the 16,095 participants, 5.26% were screened positive with 374 diagnosed as having dementia. Among them, AD accounted for 80.5%. The adjusted prevalence rates were 0.33%, 0.89%, 3.43%, and 8.19% in people in age groups 50-54, 55-64, 65-74, and 75 and above, respectively. The prevalence of AD correlated with the participant's level of education, and was 2.61%, 0.94%, and 0.56% in the illiterate group, in the primary school group, and in the middle school or higher group, respectively. Adjusted by education levels a higher prevalence in women was observed in the illiterate group. Conclusions - The prevalence of dementia in this population is similar to that reported from other areas in mainland China and Taiwan with aging being a significant risk factor. After controlling for age, being a female and having received less number of years of education were associated with an higher prevalence of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Neuroepidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of dementia in rural China: Impact of age, gender and education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this