Trends in the incidence of dementia: design and methods in the Alzheimer Cohorts Consortium.

01 May 2018

Several studies have reported a decline in incidence of dementia which may have large implications for the projected burden of disease, and provide important guidance to preventive efforts. However, reports are conflicting or inconclusive with regard to the impact of gender and education with underlying causes of a presumed declining trend remaining largely unidentified. The Alzheimer Cohorts Consortium aggregates data from nine international population-based cohorts to determine changes in the incidence of dementia since 1990. We will employ Poisson regression models to calculate incidence rates in each cohort and Cox proportional hazard regression to compare 5-year cumulative hazards across study-specific epochs. Finally, we will meta-analyse changes per decade across cohorts, and repeat all analysis stratified by sex, education and APOE genotype. In all cohorts combined, there are data on almost 69,000 people at risk of dementia with the range of follow-up years between 2 and 27. The average age at baseline is similar across cohorts ranging between 72 and 77. Uniting a wide range of disease-specific and methodological expertise in research teams, the first analyses within the Alzheimer Cohorts Consortium are underway to tackle outstanding challenges in the assessment of time-trends in dementia occurrence.