J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2002 Dec;6(2):88-96.

Three and Half Year Follow-Up Study on a Rural Elderly Cohort: Prevalence, Incidence, and Service Utilization of Dementia and Depressive Disorders

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. mjcho@plaza.snu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Gachon Medical School, Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea.


To evaluate the incidence rate and associated factors of dementia in the elderly of rural community.
This study was three and half year follow-up of Yonchon cohort, participated in a prevalence study of dementia and depression in 1996 (N=1,037). A two-phase study was conducted using the Korean version of Psychogeriatric Assessment Scale in phase I and the diagnostic interview according to DSM-IV criteria by two psychiatrists in stage II.
Of the 968 elderly residents who had not dementia in 1996 prevalence study, 596 residents completed the incidence study. The annual incidence rate for total dementia, dementia of Alzheimer's type and vascular dementia were 1.88% (1.86% in men, 1.98% in women), 1.58% (1.39% in men, 1.80% in women) and 0.34% (0.45% in men, 0.25% in women), respectively. Increasing age was significantly associated with total dementia and dementia of Alzheimer's type (p<0.01, p<0.05, respectively). There was statistically significant difference of the three and half year mortality rate between the dementia patients who were diagnosed in prevalence study and the non-dementic elderly (chi2=28.89, df=1, p<0.001). Only the 2.8% of newly onset dementia patients sought psychiatric service in the previously year.
The incidence of dementia among the Korean elderly in a rural community was relatively consistent with the epidemiological studies of other countries. Age was the only risk factor for total dementia and dementia of Alzheimer's type. Very few dementia patients were treated by psychiatrist.


Dementia; Incidence; Mortality; Risk factor; Medical service utilization
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