J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-304080
  • Cognition
  • Research paper

Prevalence of cognitive impairment in Chinese: Epidemiology of Dementia in Singapore study

  1. Narayanaswamy Venketasubramanian5
  1. 1Department of Pharmacology, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  2. 2Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  4. 4Departments of Epidemiology and Ophthalmology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  5. 5Division of Neurology, University Medicine Cluster, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  6. 6Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  7. 7Department of Medicine, National University Hospital, Singapore
  8. 8Department of Diagnostic Imaging, National University Hospital, Singapore
  9. 9Department of Neurosciences, University of California, La Jolla, California, USA
  10. 10Department of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  11. 11Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, The Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore
  12. 12Clinical Imaging Research Centre, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr M K Ikram, Department of Ophthalmology, National University Health System, 1E Kent Ridge Road, NUHS Tower Block, Level 7, Singapore 119228, Singapore; kamran_ikram{at}
  • Received 2 September 2012
  • Revised 10 November 2012
  • Accepted 11 January 2013
  • Published Online First 5 February 2013


Objective To study the prevalence of and associated factors for cognitive impairment and dementia in community dwelling Chinese from Singapore.

Methods This study includes Chinese subjects from the Epidemiology of Dementia in Singapore (EDIS) study, aged ≥60 years, who underwent comprehensive examinations, including cognitive screening with the locally validated Abbreviated Mental Test and Progressive Forgetfulness Questionnaire. Screen positive participants subsequently underwent extensive neuropsychological testing and cerebral MRI. Cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND) and dementia were diagnosed according to internationally accepted criteria. The prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia were computed per 5 year age categories and gender. To examine the relationship between baseline associated factors and cognitive impairment, we used logistic regression models to compute odd ratios with 95% CI.

Results 1538 Chinese subjects, aged ≥60 years, underwent cognitive screening: 171 (15.2%) were diagnosed with any cognitive impairment, of whom 84 were CIND mild, 80 CIND moderate and seven had dementia. The overall age adjusted prevalence of CIND mild was 7.2%; CIND moderate/dementia was 7.9%. The prevalence increased with age, from 5.9% in those aged 60–64 years to 31.3% in those aged 75–79 years and 44.1% in those aged ≥80 years. Multivariate analysis revealed age, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia to be independently associated with cognitive impairment.

Conclusions In present study, the overall prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia in Chinese was 15.2%, which is in the same range as the prevalence reported in Caucasian and other Asian populations.

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