Demographic Studies

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Doblhammer

Areas of investigation/research focus

Despite longer life expectancy in health, demographic aging and the associated increasing proportion of people in old age will lead to a sharp increase in people with neurodegenerative diseases in the coming years. This will not only lead to health restrictions for those affected, but also to new challenges in home and inpatient care and nursing.

In our research group, we deal on the one hand with the effects of the increase in neurodegenerative diseases on the care of those with the disease. On the other hand, we identify potentially modifiable risk and protective factors of dementia syndrome and Parkinson's disease in particular.  Our research is based on the application of demographic and epidemiological approaches in interdisciplinary collaboration with working groups of the DZNE as well as national and international research institutions. We use health insurance billing data (AOK, DaTraV) and population-based surveys (Lifelines, SHARE, BASE-II) as a data basis.

Prevalence, incidence, spatial patterns and trends of neurodegenerative diseases

Analyses of age- and sex-specific prevalences and incidences and their temporal trends serve as a basis for future medical and health care planning.

Protective and risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases

Detailed analyses of causes and determinants of neurodegenerative diseases provide evidence for clinical studies on causal protective factors and point to options for action in the field of prevention by reducing identified risk factors.

Risk of care need dependency and mortality in neurodegenerative diseases

Dementia syndrome and Parkinson's disease are associated with increased risk of care need dependency and mortality. We analyze the transitions from disease to need of care and death and identify factors associated with maximizing the time of good quality of life, even when the disease is already present.

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