MLHU - Health Status Resource

Dementia

Dementia

Key Findings: 

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a set of signs and symptoms associated with a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.1 Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia; accounting for 60–80% of all dementia cases.2 Dementia is a chronic disease of public health importance in which Ontario public health units have a mandate to reduce their burden through interventions that promote health and help to prevent disease.3 Rates of death due to dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease) increased in Middlesex-London from 2006 to 2015, which may correspond with the growing and aging population of Middlesex-London.

Dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease)

Among the Middlesex-London population age 12 years and older, 0.8% reported having Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia in 2015/16 (Figure 7.5.1). The percent was similar compared to Ontario (0.8%) and the Peer Group (0.9%).

Hospitalization rates for dementia were lower in Middlesex-London compared to Ontario from 2006 to 2018 (Figure 7.5.2). In 2018, the hospitalization rate was 18.9 per 100,000 in Middlesex-London compared to 25.1 per 100,000 in Ontario; a difference that was statistically significant.

When comparing across all age groups, hospitalization rates for dementia increased with age in Middlesex-London in 2018 (Figure 7.5.3). The rate was highest among those age 75 years and older (263.8 per 100,000).

The Leading Causes of Death section contains data showing that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia were the second leading cause of death in Middlesex-London from 2013 to 2015.

Death rates due to dementia in Middlesex-London were similar to Ontario for the two most recent years for which data are available, 2014 and 2015 (Figure 7.5.4). For Middlesex-London, Ontario and the Peer Group, rates of death increased over time from 2006 to 2015.

Death rates due to dementia were slightly higher among females compared to males in Middlesex-London from 2006 to 2015, however the differences were not statistically significant (Figure 7.5.5).

Death rates due to dementia were higher among the rural population of Middlesex-London compared to the urban population from 2013 to 2015 (Figure 7.5.6). Rates among the rural population increased over time from 2013 to 2015, while rates in the urban population remained stable during this period.

Interpretation

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a set of signs and symptoms associated with a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.1 The cognitive abilities that can be impacted include: memory, language, basic math skills, judgement, planning, and awareness of person, place, and time.4 Types of dementia include: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.1

Approximately 7.1% of Canadians age 65 years and older have dementia, of which two-thirds are women.1 The causes of dementia are not specifically known5, but age is known to be the most important risk factor for dementia.4 With a growing and aging population, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase in Canada.4

Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirements for Programs, Services, and Accountability
Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2018
Chronic Disease Prevention Guideline, 2018

References:

1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Dementia in Canada, Including Alzheimer's Disease [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada; 2017 [cited 2019 Sep 26]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-co...

2. Alzheimer's Association. What Is Alzheimer's Disease? [Internet]. Chicago, IL: Alzheimer's Association; 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 1]. Available from: https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

3. Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirements for Programs, Services, and Accountability [Internet]. Toronto, ON: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2018 [cited 2019 Jul 30]. Available from: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/oph_standards/d...

4. Public Health Agency of Canada. Dementia [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada; 2019 [cited 2019 Sep 26]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/dementia.html

5. Wong SL, Gilmour H, Ramage-Morin PL. Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias in Canada. Health Rep [Internet]. 2016;27(5):11–6. Available from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/82-003-x/2016005/article/14613-en...

6. Canadian Cancer Society. What You Need to Know About Blood Cancer in Canada [Internet]. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2019 [cited 2019 Sep 25]. Available from: http://www.cancer.ca/en/about-us/our-stories/what-you-need-to-know-about...

Last modified on: November 18, 2019

Jargon Explained

Dementia
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a set of signs and symptoms associated with a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.1

Alzheimer’s Disease
A type of dementia where brain cells progressively degenerate, which can affect cognitive and functional abilities, emotions and moods, behaviour, and physical abilities.6