most parts of the world, people are living longer, and this
means that diseases that affect elderly people are becoming
more common. In 1991, 11.6% of the Canadian population was
aged 65 or over. This is expected to rise to 16% by 2016,
and to about 23% in 2041.
the diseases of aging, few are more devastating than Alzheimers
disease and other forms of dementia. Dementia involves the
deterioration of a persons memory, and then of other
aspects of intellectual, emotional and cognitive functioning.
These diseases are relentlessly progressive, and eventually
lead to the point where patients become incapable of caring
for themselves and even unable to recognize close family members.
8% of Canadians aged 65 or over suffer from dementia. However,
the prevalence rises steeply with age, from about 2% among
people aged 65 to 74, to 11% for those 75 to 84 and 35% for
people aged 85 and over.
the Prevalence of dementia results in Power Point format (497KB)
Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA) was planned in 1989
as a national longitudinal study to provide accurate statistics
on the number of people who have dementia, including Alzheimer's
disease, in Canada. The study also covers a range of other
The CSHA involved 10,263 people aged 65 or over, sampled from
36 communities across Canada. Representative samples were
drawn from the community and from institutions, and participants
were assessed at 5-yearly intervals: in 1991, 1996, and for
a final time in 2001.
objectives initially focused
on the epidemiology of dementia, and the study has provided
estimates of prevalence, incidence and risk factors for dementia,
and the burden it places on family caregivers. The CSHA has
also described patterns of disability, frailty and healthy
aging, and has recorded utilization of health services for
different diagnostic groups.
team of over 60 investigators
involves clinicians, epidemiologists, social scientists, psychologists,
nurses and others. As of May, 2002, the study has produced
over 160 journal