Prevalence of Dementia and Associated Factors among Older Adults in Latin America during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Marcio Soto-Anãri, Loida Camargo, Miguel Ramos-Henderson, Claudia Rivera-Fernández, Lucia Denegri-Solís, Ursula Calle, Nicanor Mori, Ninoska Ocampo-Barbá, Fernanda López, Maria Porto, Nicole Caldichoury-Obando, Carol Saldiás, Pascual Gargiulo, Cesar Castellanos, Salomon Shelach-Bellido, Norman López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a great impact on cognitive health in Latin American older adults, increasing the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Our objective was to analyze the prevalence of dementia and the associated factors in Latin American older adults during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Methods: A multicentric first phase cross-sectional observational study was conducted during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Five thousand two hundred and forty-five Latin American adults over 60 years of age were studied in 10 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. We used the telephone version of Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the "Alzheimer Disease 8"scale for functional and cognitive changes, and the abbreviated version of the Yesavage depression scale. We also asked for sociodemographic and lockdown data. All the evaluation was made by telephone. Cross-tabulations and χ2 tests were used to determine the variability of the prevalence of impairment by sociodemographic characteristics and binary logistic regression to assess the association between dementia and sociodemographic factors. Results: We observed that the prevalence of dementia in Latin America is 15.6%, varying depending on the country (Argentine = 7.83 and Bolivia = 28.5%). The variables most associated with dementia were race and age. It does not seem to be associated with the pandemic but with social and socio-health factors. Conclusion: The prevalence of dementia shows a significant increase in Latin America, attributable to a constellation of ethnic, demographic, and socioeconomic factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Aging
  • COVID-19
  • Dementia
  • Ethnicity
  • Prevalence


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