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By the time you reach your 65th birthday, you will have over a 5% chance of having dementia.1 Or will you? The prevalence rates of dementia as 5% of the over 65s and 20% of the over 80s are often quoted, but these raw figures belie a more complex interrelation between the risk of developing dementia and the individual person. This issue of the Journal includes two articles that tackle the problem of predicting dementia. One, by Helmeret al (pp 303-309)2investigates the relation between dementia and premorbid occupation. The second, by Waite et al (pp296-302),3 explores the utility of preclinical syndromes that may presage dementia. These issues pose ethical and social problems, but may be important in improving the care of patients with dementia
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