Facteurs psychosociaux et nutritionnels des troubles cognitifs en Afrique Centrale

Abstract : With the aging of the world population, prevalence of non-communicable diseases including dementia is increasing. While epidemiological studies on cognitive impairments have been mainly conducted in high-income countries, a few have been carried out in low-and middle-income countries, including African countries, not exempt from this phenomenon. The EPIDEMCA program, Epidemiology of Dementia in Central Africa, is aimed at contributing to a better understanding of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in rural and urban areas in two countries of Central Africa: the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Republic of Congo (ROC). This PhD thesis, which is part of this program, focuses on the relationship between cognitive disorders (Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia) and psychosocial factors (stressful life events and dependent personality disorder) on the one hand, and nutritional factors (undernutrition and dietary consumption) on the other.The EPIDEMCA program is a cross-sectional multicenter population-based epidemiological study carried out among people aged 65 years and over in rural and urban areas of CAR and ROC between 2011 and 2012 using a two-phase design. DSM-IV and Petersen criteria were required for a diagnosis of dementia and MCI, respectively. Among 2002 subjects who agreed to participate in the study, cognitive status and reliable age were available for 1772 people: 1519 were free of cognitive impairment, 118 suffered from had MCI and 135 from had dementia. As regards the psychosocial factors, our first study showed that MCI was positively associated with the total number of events experienced throughout a life span in Congo only, and, with the total number of events from the age of 65 onwards and with a child’s severe physical disease after the age of 65 in the total sample. On the contrary, dementia was associated with neither the accumulation of stressful life events nor individual events. Results of our second study showed that MCI was associated with the dependent personality disorder in Congo and CAR, while dementia was associated with this disorder in Congo only. Regarding nutritional factors, our third study showed a significant association between dementia (but not MCI) and the three markers of undernutrition used (BMI inferior to 18.5 kg/m2, mid-upper arm circumference inferior to 24 cm and arm muscle circumference (AMC) below the 5th percentile of a reference population) in CAR. In Congo, MCI was associated with only the AMC<5th percentile while dementia with none of markers. Our fourth study found that cognitive disorders were associated with light alcohol intake and a low consumption of oilseeds in rural areas only. In Congo, cognitive disorders were associated with neither food groups nor alcohol consumption. This PhD thesis has contributed to improve the knowledge available on the epidemiology of cognitive disorders in Central Africa. Nevertheless, our results are solely exploratory and require to be confirmed by further studies, prerequisites for relevant and targeted interventions with a view to reduce the risk.
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Sophie Pilleron. Facteurs psychosociaux et nutritionnels des troubles cognitifs en Afrique Centrale. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université de Limoges, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014LIMO0024⟩. ⟨tel-01135257⟩

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