Women bear Alzheimer's burden; researchers are trying to discover why

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Women bear Alzheimer's burden; researchers are trying to discover why

(CNN) At the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Chicago this week, researchers are exploring biological and social differences that might explain why more women than men develop Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.

A study to be presented at the conference found a link between a lower risk for dementia and the number of births a woman has. Women with three or more children had a 12% lower risk of developing cognitive issues than a woman with only one child, according to initial results of the study of nearly 15,000 women. Pregnancy failures, however, increased a woman's risk, according to the Kaiser Permanente study. Compared with women who never lost a pregnancy, women with three or more miscarriages had a 47% higher risk for dementia.

It's just one of several studies at the conference looking at how pregnancy, female hormones, age of menarche and menopause, and even a woman's innate cognitive advantages might affect her risk for the condition.

Read more at: CNN

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Pauline Maki PhD

  • Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Director of Women’s Mental Health Research Program
  • Senior Director of Research, Center for Research on Women and Gender

(312) 996-6941
pmaki1atuic [dot] edu