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Pei-Chen Lee 1 Article
Overall and cause-specific mortality in patients with dementia: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan
Chia-Lun Kuo, Pei-Chen Lee, Li-Jung Elizabeth Ku, Yu Sun, Tsung-Hsueh Lu, Muhammad Atoillah Isfandiari, Chung-Yi Li
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023082.   Published online August 31, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023082
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Information regarding the underlying causes of death (UCODs) and standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of dementia is instrumental in formulating medical strategies to prolong life in persons with dementia (PWD). We examined the leading UCODs among PWD and estimated the overall and cause-specific SMRs in relation to dementia in Taiwan.
METHODS
Data were retrieved from 2 national datasets: the Taiwan Death Registry and the medical claim datasets of the National Health Insurance program. The observed person-years for each study participant were counted from the date of cohort enrollment to either the date of death or the final day of 2016. Sex-specific and age-specific SMRs were then calculated.
RESULTS
The leading UCOD was circulatory disease, accounting for 26.0% of total deaths (n=3,505), followed by respiratory disease at 21.3% (n=2,875). PWD were at significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality (SMR, 2.01), with SMR decreasing with advancing age. A cause-specific analysis revealed that the highest SMRs were associated with nervous system diseases (SMR, 7.58) and mental, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders (SMR, 4.80). Age appeared to modify SMR, suggesting that younger age at cohort enrollment was linked to higher SMRs for nearly all causes of mortality.
CONCLUSIONS
Circulatory and respiratory diseases were the leading UCODs among PWD. The particularly elevated mortality due to nervous system diseases and mental disorders suggests that allocating more resources to neurological and psychiatric services is warranted. The elevated SMRs of various UCODs among younger PWD underscore the need for clinicians to pay particular attention to the medical care provided to these patients.
Summary
Key Message
Circulatory diseases were the leading causes of death in patients with dementia (PWD) in Taiwan, which accounted for 26% of the total deaths, followed by diseases of the respiratory system (21.32%). PWD were at a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality (SMR: 2.01). A greater increase in cause specific SMR was noted for nervous system diseases (SMR: 7.58) and mental, behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorders (SMR: 4.80). Age tended to modify the SMRs in PWD, which indicated the younger the age of cohort enrollment was, the higher the SMRs of nearly all causes of mortality were.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health