Epidemiology of old age psychiatry in Portugal: A critical appraisal

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After a dearth of evidence for decades, there are now high-quality publications on the prevalence and risk factors of dementia and late-life depression in Portugal. These include international collaborations with the 10/66 Dementia Research Group (DRG), for the first time in Europe.
The 10/66 DRG surveys are conducted in well-defined areas. They use a one-phase protocol with comprehensive assessments including cognitive, brief physical and neurological assessments, informant interviews, the Geriatric Mental Schedule (a semi-structured clinical interview for older people, supported by AGECAT, a diagnostic algorithm identifying probable dementia, depression, anxiety and psychosis).
Community prevalence rates were 3.7% (95% CI 3.0-5.0) for DSM-IV dementia, 9.2% (95% CI 7.8–10.9) for 10/66 dementia(1), 4.4 (95% CI 3.5-5.6) for ICD-10 depression and 13.0 (95% CI 11.2-15.0) for sub-syndromal depression(2).
Taking into account the debate on international trends for dementia (and depression) incidence and prevalence, we critically appraise these findings along with those of other Portuguese groups. We further discuss some limitations of current international diagnostic systems regarding their full validity in old age epidemiological research.

1. Gonçalves-Pereira M, Cardoso A, Verdelho A, da Silva JA, Caldas de Almeida M, Fernandes A, Raminhos C, Ferri CP, Prina AM, Prince M, Xavier M. The prevalence of dementia in a Portuguese community sample: a 10/66 DRG study. BMC Geriatr. 2017;17(1):261.
2. Gonçalves-Pereira M, Prina AM, Cardoso AM, da Silva JA, Prince M, Xavier M. The prevalence of late-life depression in a Portuguese community sample: A 10/66 DRG study. J Affect Disord. 2019;246:674–81.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 21 Aug 201924 Aug 2019


Conference19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry
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