Dementia Calculator

Dementia is an umbrella term for loss of memory and other thinking abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. What is your risk of developing Dementia?

5 - 10 minutes to complete

Collaborating Institutions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Dementia Calculator for?

The Project Big Life Dementia Calculator predicts your five-year risk of being diagnosed with dementia for individuals who are 55 years of age and older, live in the community (i.e., not in long-term care or a retirement home) and have not already been diagnosed with dementia.

What is DemPort?

The Dementia Population Risk Tool (DemPoRT) is the predictive risk algorithm that powers the Project Big Life Dementia Calculator.

Why was it developed?

The Dementia Calculator was developed to help community-dwelling adults 55 years of age and older better understand their brain health and the things they can do to reduce their risk of developing dementia.

Who developed it?

Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, the Bruyère Research Institute and ICES developed the DemPoRT algorithm and the Project Big Life Dementia Calculator in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

How was it developed?

The DemPoRT algorithm was developed using anonymized Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) data of 50,000 Ontarians aged 55 years and older, linked to administrative health care data to ascertain five-year development of dementia. Using variables associated with the development of dementia, risk prediction models were developed for males and females separately. The factors included in the models are age and other sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle behaviours, general health and physical functioning. The resulting model was then tested in a separate set of CCHS data from 25,000 Ontarians aged 55 years and older to find out how well it predicts dementia incidence. We found that the model performed well overall and in a wide range of population subgroups. More details about how the DemPoRT algorithm was developed and validated can be found in the study protocol and the scientific journal article.

Brain age is a way of describing how healthy your brain is. The Dementia Calculator estimates your brain age by first calculating your five-year risk of dementia using the DemPoRT algorithm. Your dementia risk is then compared to the average risk of other Canadians of the same sex. For example, the average five-year dementia risk for an 80-year-old Canadian female is 11%. If you are an 80-year-old female and your personal risk is 9%, your brain age is lower than the average Canadian female your age, and is more comparable to the risk of the average 75-year old female. Your brain age would therefore be 75 years, in this example.

What is brain age?

What about family history and genetics?

Individuals with a family history of dementia and/or certain genetic mutations are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. As data about these risk factors was not collected in the survey data used to create the DemPoRT model, we are currently unable to use this information to inform the dementia risk and brain age estimates.

Who funded this research?

This work was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and supported by ICES which is funded by an annual grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.