Estimating the global mortality from Alzheimers disease and other dementias: a new method and results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019
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Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (dementia) is currently a leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally, and the total number of individuals effected by dementia will likely increase in the future with corresponding increases in population growth and aging1,2. However, inconsistencies in coding practices in vital registration systems both over time and between countries complicate the estimation of dementia mortality. This study updated previous methods developed for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study for the estimation of global dementia mortality. We conducted a systematic review on the excess risk of death in those with dementia, and analyzed these data using a bias-reduction meta-regression model. We then multiplied the estimates of total excess deaths by the proportion of dementia deaths that occur in those with severe, end-stage disease to calculate the total number of deaths that could be assigned to dementia. We estimated that there were 1.55 (0.35 to 4.54) million deaths globally due to dementia in 2019. Due to trends in population aging, there were large changes in all-age mortality rates between 1990 and 2019 (38.0%; 33.1 to 43.7). This updated estimation method eliminated all dependency on estimates from vital registration systems, which are known to be biased. However, future efforts should aim to further strengthen this analysis in order to provide more accurate information on dementia mortality for use by both researchers and policy-makers.
- Global health