It is unclear whether kidney disease is a risk factor for developing dementia. We examined the association between kidney disease and risk of future dementia.
Nationwide historical registry-based cohort study in Denmark based on data from 1 January 1995 until 31 December 2016.
All patients diagnosed with kidney disease and matched general population cohort without kidney disease (matched 1:5 on age, sex and year of kidney disease diagnosis).
All-cause dementia and its subtypes: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and other specified or unspecified dementia. We computed 5-year cumulative incidences (risk) and hazard ratios (HRs) for outcomes using Cox regression analyses.
The study cohort comprised 82 690 patients with kidney disease and 413 405 individuals from the general population. Five-year and ten-year mortality rates were twice as high in patients with kidney disease compared with the general population. The 5-year risk for all-cause dementia was 2.90% (95% confidence interval: 2.78% to 3.08%) in patients with kidney disease and 2.98% (2.92% to 3.04%) in the general population. Compared with the general population, the adjusted HRs for all-cause dementia in patients with kidney disease were 1.06 (1.00 to 1.12) for the 5-year follow-up and 1.08 (1.03 to 1.12) for the entire study period. Risk estimates for dementia subtypes differed substantially and were lower for Alzheimer’s disease and higher for vascular dementia.
Patients diagnosed with kidney disease have a modestly increased rate of dementia, mainly driven by vascular dementia. Moreover, patients with kidney disease may be underdiagnosed with dementia due to high mortality and other comorbidities of higher priority.