Abstract

BACKGROUND: Life expectancy (LE) following Alzheimer's disease (AD) is highly variable. The literature to date is limited by smaller sample sizes and clinical diagnoses. OBJECTIVE: No study to date has evaluated predictors of AD LE in a retrospective large autopsy-confirmed sample, which was the primary objective of this study. METHODS: Participants (≥50 years old) clinically and neuropathologically diagnosed with AD were evaluated using National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (N = 1,401) data. Analyses focused on 21 demographic, medical, neuropsychiatric, neurological, functional, and global cognitive predictors of LE at AD dementia diagnosis. These 21 predictors were evaluated in univariate analyses. Variables found to be significant were then entered into a forward multiple regression. LE was defined as months between AD diagnosis and death. RESULTS: Fourteen predictors were significant in univariate analyses and entered into the regression. Seven predictors explained 27% of LE variance in 764 total participants. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was the strongest predictor of LE, followed by sex, age, race/ethnicity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, abnormal neurological exam results, and functional impairment ratings. Post-hoc analyses revealed correlations of LE were strongest with MMSE ≤12. CONCLUSION: Global cognitive functioning was the strongest predictor of LE following diagnosis, and AD patients with severe impairment had the shortest LE. AD patients who are older, male, white, and have more motor symptoms, functional impairment, and neuropsychiatric symptoms were also more likely have shorter LE. While this model cannot provide individual prognoses, additional studies may focus on these variables to enhance predictions of LE in patients with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD
Volume86
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • autopsy-confirmed
  • dementia
  • life expectancy
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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