[This abstract first appeared in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter RWHT Volume 1 Issue 2 September 2010].
Analysis of health records of over 135,000 people in the UK found that people with dementia were three times more likely to die in the first year after diagnosis than those without the condition.
Evidence suggests that diagnoses are being made in the later stages of the disease when symptoms are more extreme. Late recording of diagnoses of dementia in primary care results in opportunities for early intervention being missed.
Primary care must get better at detection and diagnosis. GPs will be dealing with increasing numbers of dementia cases in future. Timely diagnosis for people with dementia can facilitate appropriate support and assist doctors to organise systematic management.
Rait, G. Walters, K. Bottomley, C. et al. (2010). Survival of people with clinical diagnosis of dementia in primary care: cohort study. BMJ, 2010. Vol.341(7768), p.311 & p.337, c3584.