Overall and cause-specific mortality in patients with dementia: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan

Chia Lun Kuo, Pei Chen Lee, Li Jung Elizabeth Ku, Yu Sun, Tsung Hsueh Lu, Muhammad Atoillah Isfandiari, Chung Yi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Information regarding the underlying causes of death (UCODs) and standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of dementia is instrumental in formulating medical strategies to prolong life in persons with dementia (PWD). We examined the leading UCODs among PWD and estimated the overall and cause-specific SMRs in relation to dementia in Taiwan. METHODS: Data were retrieved from 2 national datasets: the Taiwan Death Registry and the medical claim datasets of the National Health Insurance program. The observed person-years for each study participant were counted from the date of cohort enrollment to either the date of death or the final day of 2016. Sex-specific and age-specific SMRs were then calculated. RESULTS: The leading UCOD was circulatory disease, accounting for 26.0% of total deaths (n = 3,505), followed by respiratory disease at 21.3% (n = 2,875). PWD were at significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality (SMR, 2.01), with SMR decreasing with advancing age. A cause-specific analysis revealed that the highest SMRs were associated with nervous system diseases (SMR, 7.58) and mental, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders (SMR, 4.80). Age appeared to modify SMR, suggesting that younger age at cohort enrollment was linked to higher SMRs for nearly all causes of mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Circulatory and respiratory diseases were the leading UCODs among PWD. The particularly elevated mortality due to nervous system diseases and mental disorders suggests that allocating more resources to neurological and psychiatric services is warranted. The elevated SMRs of various UCODs among younger PWD underscore the need for clinicians to pay particular attention to the medical care provided to these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEpidemiology and health
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Alzheimer dementia
  • Causes of death
  • Death certificate
  • Dementia


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