Prevalence and subtype distribution of early-onset dementia in Japan

Shuichi Awata, Ayako Edahiro, Tetsuaki Arai, Manabu Ikeda, Takeshi Ikeuchi, Shinobu Kawakatsu, Yoko Konagaya, Kazuo Miyanaga, Hidetaka Ota, Kyoko Suzuki, Satoshi Tanimukai, Kumiko Utsumi, Tatsuyuki Kakuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: People living with early-onset dementia (EOD) have specific social needs. Epidemiological studies are needed to obtain current information and provide appropriate service planning. This study aimed to clarify the current prevalence and subtype distribution of EOD, as well as the services frequently used by individuals with EOD. Methods: A multisite, population-based, two-step study was conducted. Questionnaires were sent to 26 416 candidate facilities in 12 areas with a target population of 11 630 322 to inquire whether any individuals with EOD had sought services or stayed during the last 12 months (step 1). When “yes” responses were received, additional questionnaires were sent to the facilities both to complete and to distribute to the target individuals with EOD to obtain more detailed information, including the dementia subtype (step 2). Results: In step 1, valid responses were obtained from 16 848 facilities (63.8%), and 4077 cases were identified. In step 2, detailed information was obtained for 1614 cases (39.6%) from the facilities and 530 cases (13.0%) from the individuals. The national EOD prevalence rate was estimated to be 50.9/100 000 population at risk (95% confidence interval: 43.9–57.9; age range, 18–64 years). The number of individuals with EOD was estimated to be 35 700 as of 2018. Alzheimer-type dementia (52.6%) was the most frequent subtype, followed by vascular dementia (17.1%), frontotemporal dementia (9.4%), dementia due to traumatic brain injury (4.2%), dementia with Lewy bodies/Parkinson's disease dementia (4.1%), and dementia due to alcohol-related disorders (2.8%). Individuals with EOD were most frequently identified at medical centers for dementia. Conclusion: The prevalence rate estimated in this study was comparable to those in previous studies in Japan. However, the subtype distribution differed, with Alzheimer-type dementia being the most prominent. Based on the case identification frequencies, medical centers for dementia are expected to continue to function as the primary special health service by providing quality diagnosis and post-diagnostic support for individuals with EOD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-823
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov


  • Alzheimer-type dementia
  • early-onset dementia
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • medical centre for dementia
  • prevalence
  • vascular dementia


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