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ICAD: Cognitive Impairment Rate Higher Than Expected

More than 5 percent of adults ages 70 to 89 may develop mild cognitive impairment each year

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults may develop mild cognitive impairment at a rate of 5 percent per year, according to research presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease, held July 26-31 in Chicago.

Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues evaluated a random sample of 1,786 healthy subjects ages 70 to 89 at baseline and again at 15-month intervals.

The researchers found that the subjects developed mild cognitive impairment at a rate of about 5.3 percent per year. They also found that the rate was highest for subjects ages 80 to 89 (7.2 percent per year) and that men had a significantly higher incidence of mild cognitive impairment than women (hazard ratio 1.92). The researchers had expected to see an overall rate increase of 1 percent to 2 percent per year.

"If we extrapolate these findings to the baby boomers, who are aging into the period of risk, we're talking about a significant number of individuals who may become cognitively impaired in the very near future," Petersen said in a statement. "Consequently, if we don't find a cure or treatment to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, we're going to be overwhelmed by the burden of these individuals on the health care system."

Several authors disclosed relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.


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