Life expectancy in dementia will be predicted by the table

Scientists from the Karolinska University (Netherlands) have developed a method to predict life expectancy in people with senile dementia. Deterioration of the brain, which occurs with age, can be caused by various reasons: most often it is Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, as well as strokes. 

Experts from the Netherlands analyzed data from more than 50 thousand people over 65 years, who were diagnosed with age-related dementia in the period from 2007 to 2015. Over nine years of follow-up (from 2007 to 2016), more than 20 thousand (41.6%) patients died. From the moment of diagnosis to the death of the patient it took an average of 4.8 years. 

The researchers examined data on various aspects of the health and lives of dementia patients and identified factors that increase the risk of death in the next three years. For example, it turned out that people with Alzheimer's disease are more likely to live longer than patients with dementia of another origin. But factors such as belonging to the male sex, a significant deterioration in cognitive function at the time of diagnosis, loneliness, taking a large number of drugs are likely to increase the probability of death in the next three years.

Based on the obtained data, the specialists compiled two tables that allow predicting the survival rate of patients. The first is intended for primary care professionals: the prognosis is based on gender, age, and cognitive abilities, which are assessed using simple tests. The second should be filled in specialized clinics, as it involves the assessment of more complex parameters.

Fig. 1. Table for primary care professionals: dark green indicates a low risk of death within three years, and dark purple indicates a high risk.

According to scientists, the tables will help to "filter" those patients who need urgent care, to determine the frequency of examinations and intensity of treatment, to properly care for patients. 

Dec. 17, 2019, 10:34 a.m.

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