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Elder abuse may be more common than people think

BY LISA RAPAPORT

(Reuters Health) – Elder abuse may be more common than is recognized, particularly among adults with dementia or other cognitive impairments, a research review suggests.

In North and South America, elder abuse prevalence ranges from 10 percent of lucid older adults to almost half of those with dementia, the review of previous studies found. In Europe, prevalence ranges from about 2 percent in Ireland to about 61 percent in Croatia and in Asia, exposure to elder abuse ranges from 14 percent in India to 36 percent in China.

“Elder abuse is a common, identifiable, fatal and costly condition that occurs across sociodemographic and socioeconomic strata around the world,” lead study author Dr. Xin Qi Dong, a researcher in aging at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said by email.

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