Dementia and memory loss are a complex process and it is important to understand the transition from normal aging to dementia. Chinese American older adults are at risk for any of the several types of dementia.

In the course of caregiving for dementia patients, Chinese American families may encounter multiple barriers (Zhan 2004), including:

  • Stigmatization of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the Chinese community (Zhan 2004, Liu 2008)
  • A lack of knowledge about AD, a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate AD services
  • Negative interactions with health-care providers
  • Difficulty with English

According to a cross-national study (Llibre Rodriguez,, 2008), the prevalence of dementia was 5.6% (95% CI 4.2-7.0) in rural China. Dementia diagnosis was made according to the culturally and educationally sensitive 10/66 dementia diagnostic algorithm, which had been prevalidated in 25 Latin American, Asian, and African centres; and by computerised application of the dementia criterion from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV).

Fei et al (2009) studied the epidemiology of “cognitive impairment no dementia” (CIND) by studying a cluster random sampling of 6192 people aged over 65 years in Taiyuan, a metropolitan city located in northern China. Results showed that an overall prevalence of CIND was 9.70%. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, age, sex, marital status, educational level, and occupation were significantly associated with increased risk for CIND (P<0.01).