Vol. 8 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2014
Original Article Páginas: 371 a 375

Memory clinic experience under a social security health system in Costa Rica

Authors Erick Miranda-Valverde; Daniel Valerio-Aguilar; Henri-Jacques Hernández-Gabarain; Cinthya Chaves-Araya; Monserrat Peralta-Azofeifa; Luis Emilio Corrales Campos; Rolando Angulo-Cruz; Ana Maricela Carballo-Alfaro; Alejandra Arias-Salazar; Silvia Araya-Segura; Fernando Morales-Martínez


keywords: Alzheimer, memory clinic, dementia, mild cognitive impairment, epidemiology, case register.

Dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are an increasingly prevalent clinical entity in our field, showing an increasing incidence with age.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify the main types of dementia and MCI treated in a memory disorders unit in Costa Rica.
METHODS: A consecutive and standardized register of patients diagnosed with dementia and MCI at the memory disorders unit of the National Geriatrics and Gerontology Hospital (NGGH) was analyzed.
RESULTS: Dementia was diagnosed in 63.5% of the 3572 cases, whereas 10.6% met criteria for MCI. The most frequent type of dementia was Alzheimer's disease (47.1%), followed by vascular pathology (28.9%), mixed forms (17.2%) and other types (6.8%). In MCI, 69.5% were of amnestic multiple domain type and 14.3% were non-amnestic multiple domain, while 41.3% were of vascular and 35.8% of neurodegenerative etiology. Mean age was 79.6±6.7 years and 64.7% were women in dementia cases whereas mean age was 76.4±6.9 years and 62.1% were women in MCI. Mean years of schooling was 4.95±4.09 years and 6.87±4.71, while mean time between onset of symptoms and clinical diagnosis was 3.2±2.6 years and 2.67±2.69 years, in dementia and MCI, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The determination of the main types of dementia and MCI in Costa Rica and their main features has allowed the registration of comprehensive, hitherto unavailable information that will be useful for the management and strategic planning of public health care.


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