One of First Prevalence Studies Finds More MCI in Men

By Dales, Mary Jo M. | Clinical Psychiatry News, May 2008 | Go to article overview

One of First Prevalence Studies Finds More MCI in Men


Dales, Mary Jo M., Clinical Psychiatry News


CHICAGO -- Men have more mild cognitive impairment than women do, yet there is no gender difference in the prevalence of dementia, according to the results of one of the first studies to measure mild cognitive impairment prospectively in a population-based setting.

The findings, reported by Dr. Rosebud O. Roberts at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, suggest that dementia progresses either faster in women or slower in men.

For the ongoing study, called the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, mild cognitive impairment was evaluated in a population sample from Olmstead Country, Minn. The sampling scheme aimed for equal numbers of individuals in each gender and age group. The 70- to 79-year-old group included 490 women and 596 men and the 80- to 89-year-old group included 512 women and 452 men. For both age groups, there were 1,002 women and 1,048 men.

Either a nurse, physician, or neuropsychologist evaluated each individual using face-to-face measures. Subjects were evaluated in four domains--memory, executive function, language, and visual/spatial skills. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was defined as impairment in one or more domains or an overall mild decline across cognitive abilities that is greater than would be expected for an individual's age or education but is insufficient to interfere with social and occupational functioning.

Based on these evaluations, 74% of the group had normal cognition, 16% had mild cognitive impairment, and 10% had dementia. Of the nearly 2,000 study participants without dementia, 51% were male, 47% had less than 12 years of education, 52% were 80-89 years old, and 61% were married.

Subjects were studied prospectively beginning in October 2004 and follow-ups will continue through 2010. …

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