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Open Access Study protocol

Design, methods and demographic findings of the DEMINVALL survey: a population-based study of Dementia in Valladolid, Northwestern Spain

Miguel Angel Tola-Arribas1*, María José Garea1, María Isabel Yugueros1, Fernando Ortega-Valín1, Ana Cerón2, Beatriz Fernández-Malvido3, Marta González-Touya4, Antonio San José4, Ana Botrán5, Vanessa Iglesias5, Bárbara Díaz-Gómez4 and DEMINVALL study group

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, Valladolid, 47012, Spain

2 Department of Geriatrics, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, Valladolid, Spain

3 Department of Psychology, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, Valladolid, Spain

4 Family Physician, Centro de Salud Campo Grande, Valladolid, Spain

5 Family Physician, Centro de Salud Parquesol, Valladolid, Spain

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BMC Neurology 2012, 12:86  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-86

Published: 30 August 2012



This article describes the rationale and design of a population-based survey of dementia in Valladolid (northwestern Spain). The main aim of the study was to assess the epidemiology of dementia and its subtypes. Prevalence of anosognosia in dementia patients, nutritional status, diet characteristics, and determinants of non-diagnosed dementia in the community were studied. The main sociodemographic, educational, and general health status characteristics of the study population are described.


Cross-over and cohort, population-based study. A two-phase door-to-door study was performed. Both urban and rural environments were included. In phase 1 (February 2009 – February 2010) 28 trained physicians examined a population of 2,989 subjects (age: ≥ 65 years). The seven-minute screen neurocognitive battery was used. In phase 2 (May 2009 – May 2010) 4 neurologists, 1 geriatrician, and 3 neuropsychologists confirmed the diagnosis of dementia and subtype in patients screened positive by a structured neurological evaluation. Specific instruments to assess anosognosia, the nutritional status and diet characteristics were used. Of the initial sample, 2,170 subjects were evaluated (57% female, mean age 76.5 ± 7.8, 5.2% institutionalized), whose characteristics are described. 227 persons were excluded for various reasons. Among those eligible were 592 non-responders. The attrition bias of non-responders was lower in rural areas. 241 screened positive (11.1%).


The survey will explore some clinical, social and health related life-style variables of dementia. The population size and the diversification of social and educational backgrounds will contribute to a better knowledge of dementia in our environment.

Dementia prevalence; Epidemiology; Undiagnosed dementia; Population-based survey; Seven-minute screen; Anosognosia; Nutritional assessment