Women with Alzheimer's Decline Faster Than Men
Two new studies found elderly women are more likely than elderly men to develop Alzheimer’s and their decline in cognitive functions is twice as fast as men who have those same problems.
The first study focused on a group of 400 people with mild cognitive impairment and examined changes over an eight-year period with a cognitive exam. Women declined an average of 2.3 points per year, while men declined an average of 1.05 points per year. Men and women with the specific gene variant (ApoE4) that is associated with increased Alzheimer’s risk declined more quickly, but women were still more likely to decline at a faster rate.
The sex differences were also apparent when it came to anesthesia and surgery and later cognitive decline in the elderly. To analyze these differences, 527 people were assessed including 182 who underwent procedures with general anesthesia. They found here too that older women who experienced surgery and general anesthesia declined more quickly than men did.
Women who received multiple surgeries with general anesthesia showed even greater declines.