Estimating dementia cases amongst migrants living in Europe

M Canevelli, E Lacorte, I Cova, V Zaccaria, M Valletta, R Raganato, G Bruno, A M Bargagli, S Pomati, L Pantoni, N Vanacore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The phenomenon of dementia amongst migrants and ethnic minorities represents an emerging concern for European healthcare systems, posing additional challenges in terms of clinical approach, access to care and resource utilization. The aim of the present study was to estimate the cases of dementia amongst immigrant older subjects living in Europe and in each European country.

METHODS: The estimated cases of dementia amongst older (i.e. 65+) migrants living in the European Union (EU-28) and European Free Trade Association member states were calculated by multiplying the number of migrants (obtained through the data provided by Eurostat) with the age- and sex-specific prevalence rates (derived by a recent meta-analysis).

RESULTS: Overall, 6 507 360 older migrants lived in Europe in 2017. In addition, 1 204 671 migrants were registered in Germany in 2010. Nearly 475 000 dementia cases (329 028 women, 147 410 men) were estimated in this population by applying age- and sex-specific prevalence rates. When considering each European country, the number of estimated cases ranged from 108 (Iceland) to 119 161 (France). In parallel, the proportion of dementia cases occurring in migrants ranged from 0.9% (Czech Republic) to 51.2% (Liechtenstein).

CONCLUSIONS: The issue of dementia in migrants and ethnic minorities is emerging but already relevant for European healthcare systems. The magnitude of this phenomenon and its complexities reinforce the need for coordinated initiatives both at a national and continental level. These epidemiological data should ideally be integrated with those coming from 'real world' services in order to better calibrate these actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1199
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Cognitive disturbances
  • dementia
  • epidemiology
  • migration
  • public health


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