The report Dementia: Supplementary Findings from LiLACS NZ for Section Five ‘Service Use and Common Health Conditions’ in the report ‘Health, Independence and Caregiving in Advanced Age’ accompanies the report Health, Independence and Caregiving in Advanced Age, which was released in December 2016. It provides research findings from the first four waves (2010–2015) of the Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand – Te Puā waitanga O Ngā Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu (LiLACS NZ). This study is a population-based sample of people in advanced age living in the Bay of Plenty, who are taking part in a longitudinal study of advanced ageing.
This report aims to establish how the presence of dementia affects Māori and non-Māori. As more people live into their late 70s, 80s and beyond, we can expect the prevalence of dementia to increase. An estimated 50,000 people have dementia in New Zealand; this number is projected to rise to 78,000 people by 2026. This report also demonstrates the health services the dementia patients use when they also have cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and diabetes mellitus.
The report is available on the LiLACS NZ publications website.
Overview of key findings
- Dementia was present in 26% of participants ‘at some time’ in the study and there is no significant difference in prevalence between Māori and non-Māori, nor between women and men.
- Dementia was associated with lower functional status, higher frailty, poorer mental and physical health-related quality of life and higher health service use and cost. The combination of dementia with any of the physical health conditions studied in the report (cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes mellitus) worsened health status and increased health service use and costs.*
- Chronic conditions are worse in patients with dementia however, it is not possible to establish whether it is dementia that makes the impact of the chronic condition worse, or the chronic condition that makes the impact of the dementia worse.
This information, in combination with the other LiLACS reports, will assist the health and social sectors, including iwi and Māori health providers to paint a more complete picture of the health and wellbeing of older Māori. The research findings are useful for planning and providing adequate preventive health care, community support, social care and treatment for illness and disability.
For more information
Information about the LiLACS NZ study including the other reports can be found at The LiLACS NZ research programme.
Further information about findings in this report and LiLACS NZ is on the LiLACS NZ website.
* The health service use indicators are GP visits (the percentage of participants making more than four visits to their GP per annum); hospital admissions (rates per person per year); length of hospitalisation (nights in hospital per person per year); and costs of hospitalisation (given in 2015–16 NZ dollar equivalent).