Women over 90 more likely to have dementia than men

Jul 02, 2008

Women over 90 are significantly more likely to have dementia than men of the same age, according UC Irvine researchers involved with the 90+ Study, one of the nation's largest studies of dementia and other health factors in the fastest-growing age demographic.

The researchers reviewed an analysis of 911 people enrolled in the 90+ Study. Of those, 45 percent of the women had dementia, as opposed to 28 percent of the men. The analysis did not determine when the subjects first experienced dementia.

The 90-plus age group, or the "oldest old," is the fastest growing segment of the population, according to the U.S. Census. While there are currently nearly 2 million nonagenarians in the U.S. alone, that number is projected to increase to 10 to 12 million by the middle of the century, raising concerns that the current health care system may not be able to accommodate this population.

"Our findings show that more will need to be done to provide adequate resources to care for the increasing number of very old people with dementia," said Maria Corrada, a UC Irvine epidemiologist and study corresponding author.

The study appears in the July 2 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Research has shown that dementia prevalence for both men and women increases from age 65 to 85. The frequency of dementia increases with age from less than 2 percent for the 65-69-year-olds, to 5 percent for the 75-79-year-olds and to more than 20 percent for the 85-89-year-olds.

The UC Irvine study, conducted in Laguna Woods, Calif., is among the few to look at dementia in people over age 90. It found that the likelihood of having dementia doubled every five years in women after reaching 90, but not in men. The results also showed that women with a higher education appeared to be as much as 45 percent less likely to have dementia compared to women with less education.

With women comprising three-quarters of the 90-plus population, the study raises questions why these women nonagenarians are more likely to have dementia than men.

"Our findings provide valuable information toward further inquiries into dementia, such as if oldest-old men can live as long with dementia as oldest-old women do, or whether in this age group women develop dementia at a higher rate than men," Corrada said.

Dementia, a progressive brain dysfunction, leads to a gradually increasing restriction of daily activities. The most well-known type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, cognitive disorientation and behavioral changes. Dementia affects not only patients but also those surrounding them, as most patients require long-term care.

Source: University of California - Irvine

Explore further: Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Alzheimer's may cause global cash crunch: experts

Jun 23, 2011

Alzheimer's disease could cause a global cash crunch in coming generations -- as people begin to regularly live to 100 -- and must be considered a serious fiscal danger, experts said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

8 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Apr 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

Apr 18, 2014

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Apr 18, 2014

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

Apr 18, 2014

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

nilbud
not rated yet Jul 03, 2008
How can you tell is a woman is demented?

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.