J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2002 Dec;6(2):79-87.

Dementia in Korea: Trend and Projection

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. suhgh@chollian.net


While known risk factors of Alzheimer's disease (i.e. age, gender. ApoE genotype, family history of dementia) are difficult to modify, risk factors for vascular dementia (i.e. hypertension, stroke, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, smoking) are comparatively easier to modify. Prevalence of dementia is directly related to mortality of dementia and incidence of vascular dementia. Increase in the prevalence of dementia due to population aging will burden greatly on a society. Future projection of dementia has great health economic implication. Family memebers have taken care of almost all the elderly who needs care due to dementia or stroke. However, in the near future, they may have to be looked after by the government instead of a family due to nuclear family and aging of offsprings. In spite that we can keep prevalence of dementia constant at present by active and persistent efforts to control dementia and its risk factors, number of dementia sufferers will grow rapidly with the increase of aged population. Return to the Confucian tradition of filial piety, in addition to the effective prevention and treatment of dementia and its risk factors, may tackle aging crisis of 21st century. However, Korean government has to give up the 'family support first, public support next' policy that has been accepted implicitly and adopt new 'public support under the aid of family support' policy.


Aging; Dementia; Projection; Diability; Care
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