Prevalence of dementia among older people from rural Hmong and non-Hmong communities living in Vangvieng, Lao People's Democratic Republic

      Background: The global prevalence of dementia has been estimated at 44.35 million in 2013 and is expected to rise to 135.46 million by 2050. Southeast Asia will not be spared by this epidemic as the proportionate increase of affected people will be one of the highest, reaching 340% (Prince et al., 2013).
      Aim: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of dementia among older people in Lao PDR and investigate the factors associated with dementia in those communities.
      Methods: A cross sectional 2-stage study among people aged 65 years old and over living in Vangvieng (province of Vientiane) was carried out. Socio-demographic data and medical history were collected. Participants were screened using the Community Screening Instrument for Dementia (CSI-D), those who obtained a poor performance where assessed by a neurologist and performed further psychometrical tests. Diagnosis of dementia followed the DSM-IV criteria.
      This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR.
      Results: In total, 471 elderly were included in this study, with a mean age of 74.1 ± 6.9 years. After neurological assessment, the prevalence of dementia was estimated at 9.1% (95% CI [6.7–12.1]) in this rural area of Laos, and wasn't different between Hmong (9.2%, 95% CI [5.8–13.7]) and non-Hmong (9.1%, 95% CI [5.8–13.4]; p = 0.976) ethnic groups.
      Conclusion: This first population-based study in Lao PDR showed a high crude prevalence of dementia, close to the estimates for other Asian or LMIC countries.