Socioeconomic Disparities and Gender Inequalities in Dementia: a Community-Dwelling Population Study from a Middle-Income Country

Silvia Mejia-Arango, Elkin Garcia-Cifuentes, Rafael Samper-Ternent, Miguel G. Borda, Carlos A. Cano-Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The proportion of the world’s older adults and of its dementia cases is increasing in low and middle-income countries. This is particularly true in Colombia. There, the number of individuals with dementia may increase five-fold by 2050. Yet research is lacking on dementia in such settings. This work estimates the prevalence of dementia in a community-dwelling population in Colombia. It also assesses how gender-based differences in cardiovascular conditions and socioeconomic disparities affect dementia. This work analyzes data on 2000 respondents at least 60 years of age in the Health, Well-Being, And Aging (SABE) study in Bogota. Respondents with dementia are those who have cognitive impairment and at least two limitations in instrumental activities of daily living. The SABE study finds 8.4% of respondents have dementia. Age, cardiovascular risks, and socioeconomic disparities contributed to higher odds of dementia. The contributors to dementia can differ for men and women. For example, socioeconomic disparities were a larger contributor to dementia for women than men. The findings support the cognitive reserve hypothesis on dementia. This holds that pre-existing cognitive processes and compensatory mechanisms influence dementia. Women in Latin America are more likely to suffer from socioeconomic disparities that limit their cognitive reserve. This research points to several policy implications that can help offset these disparities and reduce the prevalence of dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Colombia
  • Dementia
  • Gender disparity
  • Gender-based
  • Latin America
  • Socioeconomic disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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