Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Risk of Dementia and Mortality in Lower to Middle Income Countries

Nicolas Cherbuin*, Erin I. Walsh, A. Matthew Prina

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major disease burden which accounts for 5% of all deaths globally, with most of those (>90%) occurring in lower to middle income countries (LMIC). It is also emerging as an important modifiable dementia risk factor. Objective: To address the knowledge gap surrounding the nature of the associations between COPD, dementia, and mortality, and the geographical variation of those associations in LMIC. Methods: Data from the 10/66 study surveying 15,394 participants (mean age 74 years, 62% female) across 8 countries was used to estimate the prevalence of self-reported COPD and its association with incident dementia and premature death. Proportional sub-hazards models using a cumulative incidence function were applied to identify the probability of incident dementia onset given the risk of premature death, with estimates pooled across countries via random effect meta-Analysis. Results: Over the 3-year follow-up, almost 10% of participants developed dementia and 14% were deceased. COPD was not significantly associated with dementia incidence except in Cuba. However, fully adjusted models indicated that individuals with COPD were at a 28% increased risk of premature death, a trend present across most countries when analyzed individually. Conclusion: The link between COPD and dementia is currently somewhat different and weaker in LMIC than in developed countries. This may be because premature death in the populations studied mask the development of clinical dementia. Given the global trend toward increased life expectancy, it is critical that the disease burden associated with COPD be addressed without delay if a further rise in dementia prevalence associated with COPD is to be avoided in LMIC.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S63-S73
    JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
    Issue numbers1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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