Trends in the prevalence of dementia in Japan

Hiroko H. Dodge, Teresa J. Buracchio, Gwenith G. Fisher, Yutaka Kiyohara, Kenichi Meguro, Yumihiro Tanizaki, Jeffrey A. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


There is a paucity of data regarding trends in dementia and its subtype prevalence in Japan. Our aims in the current paper are to: (1) summarize epidemiological studies of dementia in Japan including relevant details of study protocol and diagnostic criteria, (2) compare the age-specific prevalence of all-cause dementia among studies, and (3) assess the trends in Alzheimer's disease (AD) versus vascular dementia (VaD) over time. We reviewed diagnostic criteria, all-cause dementia prevalence, and the AD/VaD ratio from 8 large population studies of dementia in Japan. Compared with the Okinawa 1992 study, studies conducted in 1994, 1998, 2005, and 2008 had a higher prevalence of all-cause dementia using Poisson regression models, after controlling for age and sex. In contrast to the US and some European countries, all-cause dementia prevalence is increasing in Japan. The prevalence of AD as opposed to VaD seems to be increasing over time, but large variability in diagnostic criteria, possible regional variability, and differences in prevalence of subtypes of dementia between men and women make it difficult to draw a conclusion about this trend at the national level. Further studies, for example, comparing the population attributable risk of vascular diseases to the prevalence and incidence of dementia could help to clarify the regional variations in etiological subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number956354
JournalInternational Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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