Risk Score That Predicts Future Dementia Diagnosis Is Validated

Article excerpt

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA -- A risk score that predicts the likelihood of a middle-aged person developing dementia within 20 years has been independently validated in an ethnically diverse population, according to data presented at an international conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

The Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) risk score originally was created using data from the CAIDE study, a population-based study of 1,409 individuals in a Finnish population in the 1970s (mean age 50.4 years). When the Finnish subjects were reexamined in 1998, 61 of the subjects were diagnosed with dementia.

Study participants with dementia were found to be older at the midlife examination (mean age 53.4 years vs. mean 50.2 years) and less well educated (6.7 years of formal education vs. 8.7 years), and they had more vascular risk factors--such as high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, and high body mass index, as well as a history of smoking--present at midlife than did participants without dementia.

Dr. Miia Kivipelto of the Aging Research Center at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, used the data from the CAIDE study to create a score that could predict the risk of developing dementia in later life.

The CAIDE dementia score uses age, years of formal education, sex, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, body mass index, and physical activity to determine an individual's likelihood of developing dementia within 20 years. …