The team of Professor Jianping Jia from Xuanwu Hospital recently reported that there are more than 50 million people with cognitive impairment in China, and proposed that controlling risk factors can reduce the prevalence of dementia

In December 2020, the team of Professor Jianping Jia from Xuanwu Hospital published a paper in the Lancet Public Health (IF: 16.292), titled “Prevalence, risk factors, and management of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in adults aged 60 years or older in China: a cross-sectional study”. This study conducted an in-depth study on the prevalence, risk factors and disease management of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in Chinese adults aged 60 and above. It was clear that the prevalence of dementia was 6.04%, and the number of patients was 15.07 million. The prevalence rate of cognitive impairment was 15.54%, the number of patients was 38.77 million, and 12 kinds of dementia and mild cognitive impairment were found to be the same risk factors, 9 of which were controllable, and found an effective way to reduce the prevalence of dementia. Deputy Chief Physician Jia Longfei of Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University is the first author, and Professor Jia Jianping is the corresponding author.

The number of people aged 60 and over in China accounts for 17.9% of the total population of 1.4 billion, and dementia or mild cognitive impairment is one of the common diseases among the elderly. In more than 100 epidemiological studies in the past 30 years, the prevalence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in the elderly varies. Moreover, the survey population is relatively small, and the prevalence of dementia is thought to double every 5 years. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to accurately estimate the epidemiology of dementia and mild cognitive impairment and update the data. In the past few decades, great changes have taken place in Chinese people’s lifestyle, life span, urbanization, environment, etc., and these factors can all have an impact on the prevalence of dementia.

This study conducted research on the prevalence, risk factors, and disease management of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in Chinese adults aged 60 and over. It is the largest dementia prevalence survey in the world so far, and it is clear that dementia The prevalence was 6.04%, Alzheimer’s disease was 3.94%, vascular dementia was 1.57%, and other dementias were 0.53%. Based on this, it is estimated that there are 15.07 million dementia patients in the population of 60 years and older in China, of which 9.83 million are Alzheimer’s disease, 3.92 million are vascular dementia, and 1.32 million are other dementias. The results showed that the prevalence of dementia increased with age. The prevalence of dementia in women (7.04%) was significantly higher than that in men (4.97%), and the prevalence of dementia in women in different age groups was significantly higher than that in men (Figure 1 ,2). The study found 9 kinds of changeable risk factors, including living environment, education level, marital status, smoking, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. If these risk factors can be controlled, the prevalence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment will be greatly reduced.

Figure 1. Estimated prevalence and number of people with dementia and MCI, by age group
Figure 2. Prevalence of dementia and MCI by sex and age group

Therefore, we call for the establishment of stronger anti-dementia strategies to control this disease, which should include the establishment of a national network to monitor the cognitive changes of the elderly, control the risk factors of mild cognitive impairment to dementia, and improve the management of dementia patients , optimize the dementia care system, and increase public awareness of dementia and mild cognitive impairment. We believe that such a strategy will effectively reduce the prevalence of dementia in China and has important clinical significance.

This study was funded by the Key Project of the National Natural Science
Foundation of China (81530036), the National Key Scientific Instrument
and Equipment Development Project (31627803), Mission Program of
Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals (SML20150801), Beijing
Scholars Program, Beijing Brain Initiative from Beijing Municipal Science
& Technology Commission (Z201100005520016, Z201100005520017,
Z161100000216137), Project for Outstanding Doctor with Combined Ability
of Western and Chinese Medicine, and Beijing Municipal Commission of
Health and Family Planning (PXM2019_026283_000003).

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