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Men More Likely to Develop Cognitive Problems

They face greater risk of losing memory and thinking skills, study finds

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2008 (HealthDay News) -- Men are one and a half times more likely than women to develop mild cognitive impairment, new research shows.

"These findings are in contrast to studies which have found more women than men [or an equal proportion] have dementia, and suggest there's a delayed progression to dementia in men," study author Rosebud Roberts, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a prepared statement. "Alternately, women may develop dementia at a faster rate than men."

The study, expected to be presented Wednesday at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, in Chicago, is based on interviews, examinations and cognitive tests conducted on 2,050 people -- aged 70 to 89 -- living in Olmsted County, Minn.

Overall, 15 percent of the group had mild cognitive impairment, which is when one has memory and other thinking skills somewhat worse than what can be expected based on the person's age and education.

The rate of mild cognitive impairment was the same, regardless of a man's education or marital status.

"This is one of the first studies to determine the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment among men and women who have been randomly selected from a community to participate in the study," Roberts said.

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has more about mild cognitive impairment.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, April 16, 2008
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