Frequency and distribution of Alzheimer's disease in Europe: A collaborative study of 1980–1990 prevalence findings

Walter A. Rocca, Albert Hofman, Carol Brayne, Monique M.B. Breteler, Michael Clarke, John R.M. Copeland, Jean‐Francois ‐F Dartigues, Knut Engedal, Olle Hagnell, Thea J. Heeren, Cees Jonker, James Lindesay, Antonio Lobo, Anthony H. Mann, Pekka K. Mölsä, Kevin Morgan, Daniel W. O'Connor, Arnaldo da Silva Droux, Raimo Sulkava, David W.K. KayLuigi Amaducci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

344 Scopus citations


We reanalyzed and compared current prevalence estimates of Alzheimer's disease in Europe. Studies characterized as follows qualified for comparison: dementia defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 3rd edition, or equivalent criteria; Alzheimer's disease diagnosed by the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke‐Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association or equivalent criteria; case‐finding through direct individual examination; appropriate sample size; and inclusion of institutionalized persons. Of the 23 European surveys of dementia considered, six fulfilled the inclusion criteria. When age and sex were considered, there were no major geographic differences in the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease across Europe. Overall European prevalence (per 100 population) for the age groups 30 to 59, 60 to 69, 70 to 79, and 80 to 89 years was, respectively, 0.02, 0.3, 3.2, and 10.8. Prevalence increased exponentially with advancing age and, in some populations, was consistently higher in women. Prevalence remained stable over 15 years in one study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-390
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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