Singapore: Lower dementia prevalence among ethnic Chinese compared to ethnic Malays and Indians.

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2010;30(6):492-8. doi: 10.1159/000321675. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Interethnic differences in dementia epidemiology: global and Asia-Pacific perspectives.


Division of Neurology, University Medicine Cluster, and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, National University Health System, National University of Singapore, 1E Kent Ridge Road, Singapore.


The burden of dementia will continue to rise globally, particularly in developing countries, many of which lie in the Asia-Pacific region. It was initially thought that both prevalence and incidence of dementia showed little geographic variation. More recent work has suggested differences: migrant populations attain rates between their homelands and adopted countries, and higher rates have been found in African Americans and Hispanics compared to Caucasian Whites, and also among native Australians. The only interethnic studies in the Asia-Pacific region were performed in Singapore, which showed lower standardized prevalence among ethnic Chinese compared to ethnic Malays and Indians, independent of vascular risk factors. There was conflicting information about the relative frequencies of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia between ethnic groups in Singapore. More research, with careful attention to potential cultural confounders, is needed to further explore and better understand interethnic differences in dementia epidemiology.

Copyright ? 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.