For the last 38 years, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) has been widely used as a dementia screening measure in everyday clinical practice as well as in both cohort and cross-sectional studies. Its validity and reliability for the Greek population has explicitly been documented. However, the effect of age and education on the subject’s performance makes it necessary to reckon them in the estimation of the “cutoff score”. The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of dementia in Greek population and determine the “cutoff score” by age and education-corrected norms. Cross sectional study of 630 patients older than 55 years, who live independently in Ilion and Helioupolis Municipalities was conducted, 27.3% of the subjects tested in the study were diagnosed with memory disorder according to their MMSE scores and the validation for the Greek population. The effect of age and education to the subjects’ performance was statistically significant (p=.000). The use of standard “cutoff score” was not proved to be useful for the personalized interpretation of the results, as documented by the fact that older individuals with lower education had a poorer performance relatively to younger, highly educated subjects. Comparatively to the group age of 55–60 years, the odds ratio after the age of 75 years varies from 2.58 to 4.91. Regarding the variable factor of education, the odds ratio for the first degree education graduates decreases from 1.43 to 3.19 for the third degree education graduates in comparison with the group of illiterates. In conclusion, the use of the “cutoff score” algorithm and the simultaneous estimation of age and education effect on MMSE score may prove useful for the proper evaluation of MMSE performance. According to the age and education of examine candidates in the community and the primary care, we propose the use of the 25th percentile as a more useful cutoff score in order to decrease the false positive results.

Key words: MMSE, prevalence, cross sectional study, cutoff score.

Α. Solias, P. Skapinakis, N. Degleris, M. Pantoleon, E. Katirtzoglou, A. Politis (page 245) - Full article (Greek)