Criminal behavior in the four years preceding diagnosis of neurocognitive disorder: a nationwide register study in Finland.



To explore the criminality of patients with subsequent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
(AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), or Lewy body dementias (LBD) in the four years
preceding diagnosis.


Nationwide register study.


Data on Finnish patients were collected from the discharge register and data on criminal
offending from the police register. Research findings were compared with the same-aged
general population.


92 191 patients who had received a diagnosis of AD (N = 80 540), FTD (N = 1 060),
and LBD (N = 10 591) between 1998 and 2015.


Incidences and types of crimes, the standardized criminality ratio (SCR, number of
actual crimes per number of expected crimes), and the numbers of observed cases and
person-years at risk counted in five-year age groups and separately for both genders
and yearly.


At least one crime was committed by 1.6% of AD women and 12.8% of AD men, with corresponding
figures of 5.3% and 23.5% in FTD, and 3.0% and 11.8% in LBD. The first crime was committed
on average 2.7 (SD 1.1) years before the diagnosis. The SCR was 1.85 (95% CI 1.43-2.37)
in FTD women and 1.75 (95% CI 1.54-1.98) in FTD men, and in AD 1.11 (95% CI 1.04-1.17)
and 1.23 (95% CI 1.20-1.27), respectively. Traffic offences and crimes against property
constituted 94% of all offences.


Criminal acts may occur several years prior to the diagnosis of dementia. If novel
criminality occurs later in life, it may be associated with neurocognitive disorder.

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