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Dementia and cognitive impairment in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review

The prevalences of dementia and cognitive impairment are increasing globally and are among the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Populations worldwide are ageing, as is the population of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) which will soon be home to one of the largest groups of older people in the world. Cognitive impairment and dementia are predicted to increase proportionately more in developing regions such as in SSA.

Developing countries, such as in SSA, are undergoing a demographic and epidemiological transition and the impact of population ageing in SSA will increasingly augment the burden of non-communicable and degenerative diseases in this region.

This study aims to summarise what is known about the prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia in SSA – which we believe to be of global public health relevance. We conducted a systematic review of the literature, searching six electronic databases and analysed data from eleven studies; all cross-sectional, conducted in 5 countries and including close to 10 500 participants.


For further information about the project, please contact:

Dr Angelique Mavrodaris, Academic Clinical Fellow in Public Health


Tel: +44 (0)24 7657 5207

Health Sciences Research Division
Warwick Medical School
Gibbet Hill Road CV4 7AL