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MEDICC Review Paper Highlights Lessons From The Cuban Arm Of A Major International Dementia Study

An article published in the latest issue of MEDICC Review shares lessons learned from the Cuban arm of an international cohort study of dementia in 11 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Dementia Research Group’s 10/66 study uses standardized methods to estimate incidence of dementia and associated conditions, such as frailty, as well as the risk of developing dementia for major risk factors. Cuba has the oldest population in the Americas, and with dementia incidence at 21.2 per 1000 population aged 65 years and older, dementia-related care needs and caregiver burden are expected to grow.

More than any other physical or mental illness, dementia has two major social consequences: the need for care, and the psychological strain and economic impact on family members obligated to stop working when stepping into the caregiver role. To effectively address the primary health care needs of older adults who are at risk, the authors recommend evaluating the effectiveness of a horizontal, community intervention strategy delivered by nurses and nonprofessional health care workers, under the supervision of primary care providers.

In addition to its focus on dementia in Cuba, the latest issue of MEDICC Review, now available online, includes a paper revealing low frequency of multidrug-resistant M. tuberculosis in Cuba, as well as an article providing insight into the daily lives of family doctors and nurses, whose offices dot the Cuban urban and rural landscapes, forming the backbone of Cuba’s primary health care network.