Incidence, gender influence, and neuropsychological predictors of all cause dementia in the Faroe Islands: the Faroese Septuagenarian cohort

Kimberly C. Paul, Fróði Debes, Eina Eliasen, Pál Weihe, Maria Skaalum Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Using the Faroese Septuagenarian cohort, we aimed to describe the incidence of dementia and assess the validity of neurocognitive tests to predict subsequent dementia diagnosis. Methods: In this population-based cohort, 713 Faroese septuagenarians aged 70–74 years without dementia, underwent clinical and neuropsychological examinations. After 10-years of follow-up, information was collected on all participants referred for cognitive evaluations and diagnosed with dementia. Incidence rates were calculated and presented with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), assuming a Poisson distribution. We then performed discriminant analysis to determine the best set of neuropsychological tests to identify those who would develop dementia. Results: Over the 10-years, 65 participants (9.1%) were diagnosed with dementia, with a 10-year incidence rate of 1063 cases per 100,000 person years (95% CI 825, 1343). Women had a greater incidence than men (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.58; 95% CI 0.93, 2.71). After stepwise selection, gender and six neuropsychological measures were selected to discriminate between those who would and would not develop dementia. Overall, the model was able to correctly identify 82% of those who would not develop dementia (specificity) and 71% of those who would (sensitivity). Conclusions: These results indicate that among a greater number of tests covering a broad range of cognitive abilities, tests reflecting verbal and visual learning and recall, visuospatial function, attention, and encoding into and retrieval from long-term memory may be helpful in identifying patients in the pre-symptomatic phase of dementia. Thus, helping care-givers identify patients at a higher risk of developing dementia and adjusting management of care accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2021


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Incidence
  • Neuropsychological tests


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