AI study suggests over 10 million elderly people in India may have dementia

Using semi-supervised machine learning, a study published in Neuroepidemiology analysed data from 31,477 elderly individuals to determine the prevalence of dementia in India.

AI study suggests over 10M elderly people in India may have dementia
Involving a global team of researchers, the study identified a potential 8.44% dementia prevalence rate among Indian adults aged 60 or older. This equates to over 10 million individuals in the country I Representational Pic

A pioneering study has revealed that India has a similar rate of dementia among its population aged 60 or over to that of countries like the US and the UK, with over 10 million older adults estimated to be affected.

The research, published in the journal Neuroepidemiology, used an artificial intelligence (AI) technique known as semi-supervised machine learning to analyse data from 31,477 older adults.

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The international team of researchers found that the prevalence rate of dementia in adults aged 60 or over in India could be 8.44 per cent — equating to 10.08 million older adults in the country.


This compares to prevalence rates recorded in similar age groups of 8.8 per cent in the US, 9 per cent in the UK and between 8.5 and 9 per cent in Germany and France, they said.

The prevalence of dementia was greater for those who were older, were females, received no education, and lived in rural areas, the researchers found.

“Our research was based on the first and only nationally representative aging study in India with more than 30,000 participating older adults in the country,” said Haomiao Jin, co-author of the study and Lecturer in Health Data Sciences at the University of Surrey, UK.

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“AI has a unique strength in interpreting large and complex data like this, and our research found that the prevalence of dementia may be higher than prior estimates from local samples,” Jin said in a statement.

The research team from the University of Surrey, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, both in the US, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi developed an AI learning model.

The model was trained on data, which consisted of 70 per cent labelled dataset with dementia diagnoses from a novel online consensus.

The remaining 30 per cent of the data was reserved as a test set to assess the AIs predictive accuracy.

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The AI taught itself to predict dementia status for unlabelled observations without dementia diagnoses in the dataset.

“As we are seeing with this research, AI has a huge potential to discover patterns in complex data, improving our understanding of how diseases impact people across very different communities to support the development of precision medical interventions to save lives,” Professor Adrian Hilton, Director of the University of Surrey’s Institute for People-Centered AI, added.

(With agency inputs)