With the gradual increase in the life expectancy of the population due to scientific progress and public health at the service of society, the prevalence of dementia has been increasing at different rates worldwide. Currently, the prevalence rates range between 5% and 7% (6.4% in the U.S. and up to 8.5 % in Latin America) in subjects older than 60 years. The lowest prevalence rate (2.1%) has been reported from sub-Saharan Africa, probably due to selective mortality under 60 years of age. By contrast, a very high prevalence of dementia (23.6% dementia in individuals ≥60 years) was observed in the city of Neiva, Southern Colombia. We believe that this high rate could be explained by the presence of several risk factors such as very low schooling, low socio-economic strata, chronic diseases, the inclusion of geriatric homes among others, and additional unknown factors.
dementia - epidemiology; prevalence; caregivers; health-care services for older people - economy; health priorities; prevalence of dementia in Neiva and Colombia