Impact of Mild Cognitive Impairment on Mortality and Cause of Death in the Elderly

Jong Bin Bae, Ji Won Han, Kyung Phil Kwak, Bong Jo Kim, Shin Gyeom Kim, Jeong Lan Kim, Tae Hui Kim, Seung Ho Ryu, Seok Woo Moon, Joon Hyuk Park, Jong Chul Youn, Dong Young Lee, Dong Woo Lee, Seok Bum Lee, Jung Jae Lee, Jin Hyeong Jhoo, Ki Woong Kim

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Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a cognitive state that lies on the continuum between normal aging and dementia, and the prevalence of MCI is higher than dementia. However, the risk for mortality of people with MCI has been far less studied than that of people with dementia, and the population attributable risk percent (PAR%) of death attributable to MCI has not been estimated yet. Objective: To investigate the impact of MCI on mortality and the cause of death in the elderly, and to estimate the PAR% of deaths attributable to MCI. Methods: Data came from 7,315 elderly subjects aged ≥60 years without dementia from two cohort studies with diagnostic assessments of MCI at baseline. Deaths among participants were confirmed through the nationwide mortality database of Statistics Korea. Results: MCI increased the risk of mortality in a multivariate Cox proportional model adjusting for age, sex, education, smoking, alcohol drinking, chronic illness, depression, vascular components, and cohort (hazard ratio = 1.59, 95% confidence interval 1.30, 1.94). PAR% of death attributable to MCI was 10.7% for age 65-74 years, 16.0% for age 75-84 years, and 24.2% for age ≥85 years. In the elderly with MCI, mortality risks from cerebrovascular disease, respiratory disease, and external causes were higher than in the cognitively normal elderly. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the mortality risk of MCI in Asian countries may be comparable to that in Western countries, and MCI can contribute to the death of the elderly as much as dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-616
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Cause of death
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • death
  • epidemiology
  • mortality
  • neurocognitive disorders

Cite this

Bae, J. B., Han, J. W., Kwak, K. P., Kim, B. J., Kim, S. G., Kim, J. L., Kim, T. H., Ryu, S. H., Moon, S. W., Park, J. H., Youn, J. C., Lee, D. Y., Lee, D. W., Lee, S. B., Lee, J. J., Jhoo, J. H., & Kim, K. W. (2018). Impact of Mild Cognitive Impairment on Mortality and Cause of Death in the Elderly. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 64(2), 607-616.