From 1969 to the end of 1983 in Norway, dementia was coded as the underlying cause of death from 2058 death certificates, and as a contributory cause from 19,459. This is 3.56% of the total number of deaths. It seems that a considerable proportion of dementia cases are noted on death certificates in Norway. Death rates based on dementia as the underlying cause of death have increased with time, but when including contributory causes, rates have declined. The data may be useful in epidemiological studies, eg, to search for aetiological clues for Alzheimer's disease. Due to the inclusion of contributory causes of death in the registers and to the high number of dementia cases noted on death certificates, Norwegian mortality data on dementia are probably of better quality than in most other countries.
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