Dementia-associated mortality and its predictors among older adults in sub-Saharan Africa: results from a 2-year follow-up in Congo (the EPIDEMCA-FU study).

01 Sep 2016
Samba H, Guerchet M, Ndamba-Bandzouzi B, Mbelesso P, Lacroix P, Dartigues JF, Preux PM


between 2001 and 2012, we carried out a study of dementia prevalence in central Africa throughout the EPIDEMCA (Epidemiology of Dementia in Central Africa) programme.


to assess dementia-related mortality among Congolese older people from the EPIDEMCA study after 2 years of follow-up.


longitudinal population-based cohort study.


Gamboma and Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.


older participants were traced and interviewed in rural and urban Congo annually between 2012 and 2014. DSM-IV and NINCDS-ADRDA criteria were required for dementia diagnosis. Data on vital status were collected throughout the follow-up. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the link between baseline dementia diagnosis and mortality risk.


of 1,029 participants at baseline, 910 (88.4%) have a complete cognitive diagnosis. There were 791 participants (76.87%) with normal cognition, 56 (5.44%) with MCI and 63 (6.12%) with dementia. After 2 years of follow-up, 101 (9.8%) participants had died. Compared with participants with normal cognition, patients with dementia had 2.5 times higher mortality risk (HR = 2.53, 95% CI 1.42-4.49, P = 0.001). Among those with dementia, only clinical severity of dementia was associated with an additional increased mortality risk (HR = 1.91; CI 95%, 1.23-2.96; P = 0.004). Age (per 5-year increase), male sex and living in an urban area were independently associated with increased mortality risk across the full cohort.


among Congolese older adults, dementia is associated with increased mortality risk. Our results highlight the need for targeted health policies and strategies for dementia care in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).