PREVALENCE OF DEMENTIA IN LITHUANIA: REGISTERED AND EXPECTED
Dementia syndrome is a chronic progressive disorder of neurodegenerative origin with gradual loss of cognitive function and possible behavioural impairment. Timely introduction of medication and certain lifestyle changes prolong the initial stages of the disease and delay the loss of cognitive function. Due to the population’s regressive age structure type in Lithuania, accurate diagnosis of dementia syndrome and the number of people with dementia are becoming very relevant in order to improve health and social care services. Aim. To estimate the number of probable undiagnosed cases of dementia and to evaluate the need of health care services for people with dementia in Lithuania. Methods. Statistical data for the analysis of the epidemiology of dementia syndrome in Lithuania was collected from the Health Statistics database of the Institute of Hygiene and the Official Statistics database of the Lithuanian Department of Statistics. The number of presumptively undiagnosed people with dementia was calculated based on the results of the EuroCoDe 2008 project. Results. The number of registered patients with dementia and probable undiagnosed cases in Lithuania differs by 17,857 cases. 10,860 registered patients may require constant care and supervision. If the diagnostics of dementia in Lithuania was sufficient, the number would increase by 1,7 times. Many sources suggest that in an aging society, the number dementia diagnoses will only increase as will the need for nursing. Conclusions. The diagnostics of dementia syndrome in Lithuania is not sufficient.