Prevalence of dementia and cognitive complaints in the context of high cognitive reserve: A population-based study

Magali Perquin*, Nico Diederich, Jessica Pastore, Marie Lise Lair, Saverio Stranges, Michel Vaillant, MemoVie Group, Sophie Couffignal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives This study aimed to assess the prevalence of dementia and cognitive complaints in a crosssectional sample of Luxembourg seniors, and to discuss the results in the societal context of high cognitive reserve resulting from multilingualism. Methods A population sample of 1, 377 people representative of Luxembourg residents aged over 64 years was initially identified via the national social insurance register. There were three different levels of contribution: full participation in the study, partial participation, and non-participation. We examined the profiles of these three different samples so that we could infer the prevalence estimates in the Luxembourgish senior population as a whole using the prevalence estimates obtained in this study. Results After careful attention to the potential bias and of the possibility of underestimation, we considered the obtained prevalence estimates of 3.8% for dementia (with corresponding 95% confidence limits (CL) of 2.8% and 4.8%) and 26.1% for cognitive complaints (CL = [17.8- 34.3]) as trustworthy. Conclusion Based on these findings, we postulate that high cognitive reserve may result in surprisingly low prevalence estimates of cognitive complaints and dementia in adults over the age of 64 years, which thereby corroborates the longer disability-free life expectancy observed in the Luxembourg population. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report such Luxembourgish public health data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0138818
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2015


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