Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dementia Death Statistics Underestimated?

Study: Alzheimer's and Other Types of Dementia May Be Underreported on Death Certificates
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, -- Dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease, often doesn't get noted on death certificates, which may lead to an underestimate of how deadly those conditions are.

That's according to a letter published in the Dec. 10 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The letter comes from Melissa Wachterman, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

She writes that the National Center for Health Statistics ranked Alzheimer's disease as the No. 5 cause of death for U.S. residents older than age 65 in 2004, based on data from death certificates. But death certificate data may be flawed by underreporting of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, Wachterman says.

Wachterman's team checked the whole article

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