Incidence and Determinants of Poststroke Dementia as Defined by an Informant Interview Method in a Hospital-Based Stroke Registry

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Background and Purpose

Inconsistent information about incidence and determinants of poststroke dementia might be related to patient attrition, partly because of nonapplicability of formal neuropsychological testing to a large proportion of patients registered in a definite setting.


Using a proxy-informant interview based on ICD-10 criteria, we determined dementia at stroke onset and 1 year after stroke in the 339 patients who survived, were available for follow-up, and were not demented at stroke onset of 635 patients entered over a 1-year period in a stroke registry taken at 2 community hospitals in Florence, Italy.


Of the 339 patients, 57 (16.8%) proved to have poststroke dementia. These patients were older, more frequently female, and more often (multivariate odds ratio, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.21 to 4.58) had atrial fibrillation than those without dementia. Aphasia and the clinical features expressing the severity of the stroke event in the acute phase predicted poststroke dementia.


In a hospital-based nonselected series of stroke survivors, despite the use of a method with low sensitivity for defining dementia, our study confirms that dementia is a frequent sequela of stroke and is mainly predicted by stroke severity. Certain determinants could be controlled in the prestroke phase, thus reducing its risk. (Stroke. 1998;29:2087-2093.)

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