Clinical Edge

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Mortality Increased After Early Dementia Diagnosis

During a 6-year follow-up period, over half of veterans with early dementia died with the average death occurring only 3 years after initial diagnosis, a new study found. Participants included dyads of community-based veterans with early dementia and their caregivers (n=143). Department of Veterans’ Affairs electronic records were used to retrospectively collect veteran mortality outcomes over a 6-year period. Researchers found:

  • 53.1% of participants died over 6 years of follow-up.
  • Mean time to death was 3.09 years (range 54 days to 5.91 years).
  • Female sex, better cognition, and higher scores on the Tinetti Gait and Balance scale were protective factors.


Barrett B, et al. Mortality and associated risk factors in community-dwelling persons with early dementia. [Published online ahead of print August 30, 2019]. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000343.