J Med Assoc Thai 2001; 84 (4):468

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Risk Factors for Dementia and Impaired Cognitive Status in Thai Elderly
Senanarong V Mail, Jamjumrus P , Hamphadungkit K , Vannasaeng S , Udompunthurak S , Prayoonwiwat N , Poungvarin N

Objective : To examine the association of physical and biochemicaJ risk factors for
dementia and cognitive status in an urban population based Thai elderly.
Material and Method : This study was part of an integrated health research project
from 1997 to 1999. Subjects were 550 elders who lived in a community within 10 km from
Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand. They were 55 years and older. Thai mental state exami-
nation (TMSE) was applied to all subjects as the screening test for dementia. Those who
scored less than or equal to 24 out of 30 were categorised as having cognitive impairment
or suspected of having dementia, and they were then examined in detail for the diagnosis
of dementia using the DSM IV criteria. Blood pressure and body weight were recorded. Blood
was drawn for biochemical and haematological analysis including the serology for syphilis
and thyroid function test as the basic screening investigation for dementia. Descriptive data,
expressed as the mean, standard deviation, Pearson Chi square and ANOV A tests were
analysed with SPSS 9.0 in the study.
Results : Of 550 subjects, 261 ( 4 7.45%) were classified as the normal subjects
group, 49 (8.91 %) as the cognitively impaired group, and 240 (43.82%) as the dementia
group. 377 subjects (68.55%) were female and the distribution of females in each subgroup
ranged from 63.3 -75.5 per cent. The mean age in the normal group was 67.47
years, the cognitively impaired group was 70.14 years and the dementia group was 69.63
9.21 years. Systolic blood pressure (BP), diastolic BP, serum cholesterol, SOOT, GOT,
serum albumin, haemoglobin, MCHC, neutrophil counts and weight were statistically
significant factors that were associated with cognitive status. Both systolic and diastolic
BP were high in the higher cognitive status group. Serum albumin, serum cholesterol
levels and body weight were also higher in the high cognitive status group.
Coilclusion : This study demonstrated an association between nutritional status
and cognitive status in Thai elderly. Poorer nutritional factor in lower cognitive function
individuals might explain a lower of both systolic and diastolic BP in the dementia subjects
compared to the healthy subjects.
Key word : Risk Factors, Dementia, Cognitive Impairement, Thai Elderly

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