Dementia-free life expectancy (demFLE) in the Netherlands
van de Water, H.P.A.
TNO Preventie en Gezondheid
To gain an insight into the burden of dementia in an aging society, life expectancy with dementia and its counterpart dementia-free life expectancy (DemFLE) in The Netherlands are presented. Sullivan's method was used to calculate DemFLE. For elderly living either independently or in homes for the elderly prevalence figures on dementia were obtained from the Rotterdam Elderly Study (RES; n = 7,528); for elderly in nursing homes the SIG Nursing home Information System was used. Conforming to other authors only the prevalence data on moderate and severe dementia as diagnosed with DSM-III-R criteria are used. The prevalence of mild dementia was not taken into account. At 65 years DemFLE for men is 14.0 years, that is 96.4% of the total life expectancy (14.5 years at this age). At age 90, DemFLE for men is 2.5 years, equal to 77.5% of the total life expectancy (3.3 years). For women DemFLE at age 65 is 17.7 years, that is 93.2% of their life expectancy (19.0 years), and at the age of 90, DemFLE for women is 2.8 years, equal to 74.7% of their remaining life expectancy (3.8 years). The absolute number of years with dementia remains relatively constant with increasing age. About 20-25% of these years with dementia are spent in nursing homes, the other 75-80% living independently. At each age compared with men women have both a higher DemFLE and a higher expectancy of years with dementia. The percentage of life expectancy without dementia however, is always lower for women, because of their higher total life expectancy. This indicates that the burden of dementia in absolute and relative terms is higher for women. Most years with dementia are spent at home, indicating that the burden of dementia rests mainly on the shoulders of informal caregivers.
To reference this document use:
Aged, 80 and over
Cost of Illness
Health Services Needs and Demand
Severity of Illness Index
Social Science and Medicine, 43 (12), 1703-1707