Prevalence of dementia and cognitive impairment with no dementia in a primary care setting in southern Brazil
ABSTRACT Background: Cognitive decline is a common condition, but is still underrepresented in studies conducted in developing countries. Objective: To calculate the prevalence of cognitive decline and depression in an elderly community-dwelling population in a city in southern Brazil. Methods: We calculated the prevalences of dementia, cognitive impairment with no dementia (CIND) and symptoms of depression in an elderly population relying on the public healthcare system. This epidemiological study in Pelotas, Brazil, was conducted within the primary care setting. It included 299 older adults (mean age = 69.75 ± 7.6 years) who presented low levels of education (mean = 4.16 ± 3.17 years of education). They underwent cognitive screening and their medical records were analyzed. Results: Among these older adults, 142 (47.5%) presented cognitive decline: 104 (34.8%) matching the cognitive criteria for CIND and 38 (12.7%) matching the cognitive criteria for dementia. Among all the individuals who completed the cognitive screening, 141 (48.4%) were positive for symptoms of depression, of whom 99 (34%) did not have any previous diagnosis in their medical records. Conclusion: There was high prevalence of cognitive impairment among these older adults in a primary care setting. A large number of older adults were found to have symptoms of depression without any diagnosis.