Mapping prevalence of dementia in England

The calculation of dementia or assignment of dementia status follows the Langa-Weir approach as applied to the sister study to the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, namely the US Health and Retirement Study. This way, both studies are likely to give comparable results.

A cartogram map is the equivalent of a choropleth map with the size of the areas (local authority districts) adjusted according to the prevalence of dementia. In this way, areas with higher prevalence are not only darker but also increased in size. Conversely, areas with lower prevalence are shrunk in size. The legend identifies three ranges: up to 5%, up to 10% and up to 15%.

Choropleth mapping dementia prevalence in England
Choropleth mapping dementia prevalence in England
Cartogram mapping dementia prevalence in England
Cartogram mapping dementia prevalence in England

Progress with publications from WP2

This is an update on outputs from the work package 2 team. We have submitted two papers to peer reviewed journals.

The first is ‘Trajectories of general cognition and dementia in English older population ‘, submitted to the European Journal of Medicine and currently under revision.

The second is ‘Britons: latent class trajectories of cognitive scores in ELSA 2002-2013 ’, submitted to the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

We are currently working on a third which will discuss the environmental effects on dementia prevalence in England 2014-2015

Progress towards our objectives and aims in WP2 plus some good news

We are now close to completing our ultimate piece of the work package we are responsible for in the Neighbourhoods and Dementia programme. We have used the opportunity afforded to us by ELSA having included a measure of cognitive impairment in Wave 7 of the survey. They used a version of the test the Telephone Instrument for Cognitive Status (TICS), a measure which can determine thresholds for cognitive impairment and Dementia. Using the TICS 27 item score and thresholds derived from the sister study US study the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), we can classify volunteers of ELSA into three cognitive groups: normal; cognitive impairment no dementia; dementia. They we able to do this by a major research programme called Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS), a supplement to the Health and Retirement Study. This followed an in person clinical assessment for dementia in HRS individuals.

Following this we could then use the rich interdisciplinary data in ELSA with our already integrated MSOA information, to look at the prevalence of cognitive status in England. This showed as did our work in episodic memory, there is variation in the prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia in England. We could then examine individuals personal characteristics, social determinants and environmental predictors of risk for cognitive impairment.

These results will form the content of the third manuscript we are currently drafting titled ‘social determinants, environment and dementia in England 2014-15’. We will submit this to academic journal later this year.

We have some exciting news from our work package. Dr Gindo Tambupolon has been appointed to a lecturer position in the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester and started his post in January 2017. He will continue to collaborate on work package 2 as we complete a key piece of work.