This study aimed to clarify whether or not low level of education may function as a risk factor for dementia among native Mexicans. A door-to-door survey study in an elderly illiterate native Mexican subpopulation of indigenous origin was performed in order to detect prevalence of dementia using both DSM-IV criteria and the Brookdale test. The total village population surveyed included 2226 inhabitants, of which 65 subjects were over 65 years. Dementia, according to DSM IV criteria, was diagnosed in 8 patients above 65 years (9.4% of the target population), while, according to the Brookdale test, it was diagnosed in 5 patients above 65 years (5.9% of the target population). We found a higher prevalence of dementia according to DSM-IV in patients above 65 years (9.4%) in our study subpopulation, which may support the assumption that low education as well as age may contribute to a higher prevalence of dementia.
Key words: Dementia, Brookdale test, DSM-IV, illiteracy.
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