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February 2011

Improving Risk Scores for Dementia

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht (Drs Geerlings and Vergouwe); and Erasmus Medical Center, Center for Medical Decision Sciences, Department of Public Health, Rotterdam (Dr Vergouwe), the Netherlands

Arch Neurol. 2011;68(2):264-271. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.3

Recently, Reitz and colleagues1 proposed a risk score for AD. Risk scores for AD are virtually nonexistent compared with the numerous etiological studies on individual risk factors for AD. We give 3 suggestions for improving the accuracy of the absolute risks assessed with the risk score.

First, more advanced methods could have been used to estimate absolute risks from the interval-censored data.2 To establish the diagnosis of dementia, follow-up data were collected at sequential visits with 18-month intervals. As a result, the time of onset of dementia was not exactly observed. The authors assumed that the onset occurred at the end of each interval. This approach can lead to inaccurate estimates of absolute risks.

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