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Dementia Risk Profiles Differ for Men and Women

Intervention programs need to be tailored to men and women's needs

THURSDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women have different risk profiles for mild cognitive impairment and progression to dementia, according to the results of a study published online May 1 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Sylvaine Artero, of the Universite de Montpellier in Montpellier, France, and colleagues conducted a study of 6,892 subjects over the age of 65 who were evaluated at baseline and after two and four years for cognitive performance and clinical diagnosis of dementia, as well as clinical and environmental risk factors.

At baseline, 42 percent of the study participants had mild cognitive impairment, and this subgroup was more likely to have symptoms of depression and to be taking anticholinergic drugs. The men in this subgroup had higher odds of stroke, diabetes and higher body mass index, the investigators found. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to be disabled, socially isolated, have poor subjective health and insomnia. Risk factors for progression to dementia were also gender-specific, the report indicates.

"Some potentially reversible risk factors for progression to dementia were identified, which were not the same for men and women (notably stroke in men and subclinical depression and use of anticholinergic drugs in women)," the authors write. "These factors should be taken into account in the development of gender-specific clinical intervention programs for mild cognitive impairment."

The study received funding from Sanofi-Synthelabo.

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