Estimated prevalence of dementia based on analysis of drug databases in the Region of Madrid (Spain).

Research paper by M C MC de Hoyos-Alonso, J J Bonis, E E Tapias-Merino, M V MV Castell, A A Otero

Indexed on: 03 Dec '14Published on: 03 Dec '14Published in: Neurología


The progressive rise in dementia prevalence increases the need for rapid methods that complement population-based prevalence studies.To estimate the prevalence of dementia in the population aged 65 and older based on use of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine.Descriptive study of use and prescription of cholinesterase inhibitors and/or memantine in 2011 according to 2 databases: Farm@drid (pharmacy billing records for the Region of Madrid) and BIFAP (database for pharmacoepidemiology research in primary care, with diagnosis and prescription records). We tested the comparability of drug use results from each database using the chi-square test and prevalence ratios. The prevalence of dementia in Madrid was estimated based on the dose per 100 inhabitants/day, adjusting the result for data obtained from BIFAP on combination treatment in the general population (0.37%) and the percentage of dementia patients undergoing treatment (41.13%).Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine were taken by 2.08% and 0.72% of Madrid residents aged 65 and older was respectively. Both databases displayed similar results for use of these drugs. The estimated prevalence of dementia in individuals aged 65 and older is 5.91% (95% CI%, 5.85-5.95) (52 287 people), and it is higher in women (7.16%) than in men (4.00%).The estimated prevalence of dementia is similar to that found in population-based studies. Analysing consumption of specific dementia drugs can be a reliable and inexpensive means of updating prevalence data periodically and helping rationalise healthcare resources.