Predictors of survival in Alzheimer's disease

Jaya Paranilam, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with greater mortality and reduced survival among individuals with Alzheimer's disease as compared to those without dementia. It is uncertain how these survival estimates change when the clinical signs and/or symptoms of comorbid conditions are present in individuals' with Alzheimer's disease. Cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus are common conditions in the aged population. Independently, these factors influence mortality and may have an additive effect on reduced survival in an individual with concomitant Alzheimer's disease. The bulk of the evidence from previous research efforts suggests an association between vascular co-morbidities and Alzheimer's disease incidence, but their role in survival remains to be elucidated. The objective of this proposed study was to examine the effects of cardiovascular comorbidities on the survival experience of individuals with probable Alzheimer's disease in order to identify prognostic factors for life expectancy following onset of disease. This study utilized data from the Baylor College of Medicine Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC) longitudinal study of Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders. Individuals between the ages of 55-69, 70-79, and ≥80 had a median survival from date of onset of 9.2 years, 8.0 years, and 7.2 years, respectively (p<0.001) and 5.5 years, 4.3 years, and 3.4 years from diagnosis. Sex was the strongest predictor of death from onset of AD, with females having a 30 percent lower risk compared to males. These findings further support the notion that age (both from onset and from diagnosis) and sex are the strongest predictors of survival among those with AD.

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Paranilam, Jaya, "Predictors of survival in Alzheimer's disease" (2006). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3241399.