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1 in 5 Indians over 60 show signs of mild neurocognitive disorder: Study | health news


According to a study, about 1 in 5 Indian adults aged 60+ show symptoms of mild neurocognitive disorder. Given the estimated 138 million adults over the age of 60 in India, these estimates suggest that an estimated 24 million and 9.9 million older adults in India are living with mild and major neurocognitive disorders, respectively, the study published in the journal PLOS One revealed.

The study found that the prevalence of major neurocognitive disorders was higher among the elderly—from about 4 percent among those aged 60-64 to 15.2 percent among those over 80. “India, with its rapidly aging population, faces an alarming burden of dementia,” said the team from St. Petersburg. Johns Medical College in Bangalore and Johns Hopkins University in USA.

For the study, the team recruited around 4,100 participants living in 18 geographically and linguistically diverse states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Most of the group was aged 60-79 years. They found that prevalence was higher among older adults, with lower educational attainment and illiteracy, and among rural-aged adults. These findings highlight the growing importance of dementia in India. “The prevalence of dementia in India is higher than previously recognized. These findings, coupled with the growing number of older adults in India in the coming decades, have important implications for society, public health, and families,” the researchers said in the paper..

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The team analyzed the participants using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) – a widely accepted clinical diagnostic authority. Results showed that the population prevalence of DSM-5 mild and major neurocognitive disorders was 17.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively. Furthermore, 12 percent reported severe impairment in at least one ADL (activities of daily living) and 8.5 percent reported impairment in any IADL (instrumental activities of daily living). Major neurocognitive disorders were more prevalent among illiterate (9.3 percent) than literate (5 percent) and rural (10.3 percent) urban (4.9 percent) populations.