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The Koori Growing Old Well Study: investigating aging and dementia in urban Aboriginal Australians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2014

Kylie Radford*
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney, Australia School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Holly A. Mack
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia
Hamish Robertson
Affiliation:
Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney, Australia
Brian Draper
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney, Australia School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Simon Chalkley
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney, Australia Geriatric Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Gail Daylight
Affiliation:
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia
Robert Cumming
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Hayley Bennett
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia
Lisa Jackson Pulver
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Gerald A. Broe
Affiliation:
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, Australia Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney, Australia Geriatric Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Kylie Radford, Neuroscience Research Australia, PO Box 1165, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia. Phone: +02-9399-1269; Fax: +02-9399-1082. Email: k.radford@neura.edu.au.

Abstract

Background:

Dementia is an emerging health priority in Australian Aboriginal communities, but substantial gaps remain in our understanding of this issue, particularly for the large urban section of the population. In remote Aboriginal communities, high prevalence rates of dementia at relatively young ages have been reported. The current study is investigating aging, cognitive decline, and dementia in older urban/regional Aboriginal Australians.

Methods:

We partnered with five Aboriginal communities across the eastern Australian state of New South Wales, to undertake a census of all Aboriginal men and women aged 60 years and over residing in these communities. This was followed by a survey of the health, well-being, and life history of all consenting participants. Participants were also screened using three cognitive instruments. Those scoring below designated cut-offs, and a 20% random sample of those scoring above (i.e. “normal” range), completed a contact person interview (with a nominated family member) and medical assessment (blind to initial screening results), which formed the basis of “gold standard” clinical consensus determinations of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Conclusion:

This paper details our protocol for a population-based study in collaboration with local Aboriginal community organizations. The study will provide the first available prevalence rates for dementia and cognitive impairment in a representative sample of urban Aboriginal people, across city and rural communities, where the majority of Aboriginal Australians live. It will also contribute to improved assessment of dementia and cognitive impairment and to the understanding of social determinants of successful aging, of international significance.

Type
Protocol-Only Paper
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2014 

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Supplementary material: PDF

Radford Supplementary Material

Table S1

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Supplementary material: PDF

Radford Supplementary Material

Table S2

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