Trends of mortality from Alzheimer's disease in the European Union, 1994–2013

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Abstract

Background and purpose:

In many countries, Alzheimer's disease (AD) has gradually become a common disease in elderly populations. The aim of this study was to analyse trends of mortality caused by AD in the 28 member countries in the European Union (EU) over the last two decades.

Methods:

We extracted data for AD deaths for the period 1994–2013 in the EU from the Eurostat and World Health Organization database. Age-standardized mortality rates per 100 000 were computed. Joinpoint regression was used to analyse the trends and compute the annual percent change in the EU as a whole and by country. Analyses by gender and by European regions were conducted.

Results:

Mortality from AD has risen in the EU throughout the study period. Most of the countries showed upward trends, with the sharpest increases in Slovakia, Lithuania and Romania. We recorded statistically significant increases of 4.7% and 6.0% in mortality rates in men and women, respectively, in the whole EU. Several countries showed changing trends during the study period. According to the regional analysis, northern and eastern countries showed the steepest increases, whereas in the latter years mortality has declined in western countries.

Conclusions:

Our findings provide evidence that AD mortality has increased in the EU, especially in eastern and northern European countries and in the female population. Our results could be a reference for the development of primary prevention policies.

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