Psychotic symptoms are common in elderly persons with dementia. These symptoms affect a person's ability to function in daily life and put strain on the caregiver. Most studies focus on psychotic symptoms in clinical samples with Alzheimer disease (AD). Thus, their prevalence and relation with dementia subtype and severity in very old populations is unclear. We assessed a representative sample of 85-year-old individuals living in Gothenburg, Sweden (n = 494) using neuropsychiatric examinations, key informant interviews, and medical record reviews; 147 had dementia. Dementia and its severity were diagnosed in accordance with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition, Revision [DSM-III-R]) criteria. Alzheimer disease according to the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA) criteria was diagnosed in 64 persons and vascular dementia (VaD) according to Erkinjuntti criteria was observed in 69. Fourteen had dementia due to other causes. Psychotic symptoms were classified according to DSM-III-R. The prevalence of psychotic symptoms in this very old population was 36% among AD cases compared to 54% in VaD cases (P = .04). Proportions with psychotic symptoms increased with increasing dementia severity in individuals with AD. No such association could be shown in those with VaD. This finding of a high proportion of psychotic symptoms also in individuals with mild severity of VaD should alert health professionals to evaluate dementia in very old patients who present with hallucinations or delusions.