In #utero #exposure to the 1918 #pandemic #influenza in #Denmark and risk of #dementia (Influenza Other Respir Viruses, abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2018 Jan 22. doi: 10.1111/irv.12542. [Epub ahead of print]

In utero exposure to the 1918 pandemic influenza in Denmark and risk of dementia.

Cocoros NM1, Ording AG2, Horváth-Puhó E2, Henderson VW2,3, Sørensen HT2,3.

Author information: 1 Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA. 2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark. 3 Departments of Health Research & Policy and Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.




Substantial but inconclusive evidence suggests in utero exposure to influenza infection may be linked with Alzheimer’s disease.


We examined whether individuals exposed in utero to the 1918 influenza pandemic are at increased risk of dementia.


In this cohort study, surveillance data were used to identify months when influenza activity was at its peak during the pandemic. Using birth dates, exposed and unexposed individuals were identified based on whether they were in utero during ≥1 of the peak months. The outcome, any type of dementia, was identified in population-based medical registries. Time and age at risk was restricted so exposed and unexposed had equal time at risk; diagnoses for dementia were assessed between ages 62 and 92, with a maximum of 30 years at risk. Poisson regression was used to estimate sex-adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRR).


We identified 106,479 exposed and 177,918 unexposed persons. Using the cumulative risk function, there were similar proportions of exposed and unexposed with a dementia diagnosis at 11.9% and 11.7%, respectively. Across all ages, the IRR for the association between in utero influenza exposure and any dementia was 1.01 (95% CI 0.99-1.04); for Alzheimer’s disease it was 0.97 (0.93-1.01). When stratified by age and sex, and when dementia type was examined, estimates of association were also null or close to null.


Our study suggests there is likely not an association between in utero exposure to the 1918 influenza pandemic and dementia among those 62 and older.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: 1918-1919; alzheimer’s disease; dementia; human; influenza; influenza pandemic

PMID: 29356338 DOI: 10.1111/irv.12542

Keyworsd: Pandemic Influenza; Neurology; Denmark.



Published by


I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s