Background: Jacklin et al. (2013) described a rising incidence and a younger onset of dementia in Albertan First Nations compared to non-First Nations patients. Canadian research is limited in Indigenous patients with dementia, leaving it difficult to understand factors contributing to the differences in incidence and prevalence. Methods: 375 patients (41 Indigenous) was seen at the clinic. The questionnaire given during initial assessments were reviewed and differences between groups (non-Indigenous patients versus Indigenous) were assessed. Results: Compared to the non-Indigenous patient, Indigenous patients were younger (p=0.007), were more likely to be female (p=0.033) and had less education (p=0.055). They were less likely to live solely with a partner (p<0.001) and more likely to have a daughter as caregiver (p=0.004). The Indigenous patients were more likely to smoke (p<0.001). Although no differences in diagnosis of mental health disorders were seen (p=0.735), the Indigenous patients scored significantly higher on the CES-D (p<0.0001). Conclusions: This comparison highlights differences potentially affecting the health of Indigenous patients. Acknowledging these differences is critical to individualized patient care. Further research is required to explore how these factors affect dementia disease course and treatment, and how these factors play a role in the differences in incidence and prevalence demonstrated in previous studies.
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