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Men are more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than women, study claims

Published 26 January 2012

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may affect more men than women, research recently published in the journal Neurology claims.

1,450 people who had no signs of cognitive impairment were revaluated 15 months later. Men were 26% more likely to develop MCI than women, and 32% more likely to develop MCI with memory problems. The study also found that people with a low level of education (12 years in education or fewer) had a higher rate of MCI. MCI includes problems with memory or thinking beyond that explained by the normal rate of ageing and often leads to Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'Increasing our understanding of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) could help us unravel the many mysteries still surrounding Alzheimer's disease and move us closer to treatments and a cure. This exciting research adds to previous evidence that men could be more susceptible to MCI than women. However we now need further research into why this is the case.

'One in three people over 65 will die with dementia and by 2021 there will be over a million people in the UK with the condition. Yet dementia research remains drastically underfunded. Only through more research can we find out more about MCI and its relationship with Alzheimer's disease. We must invest now.'


Dr Anne Corbett
Research Manager
Alzheimer's Society

Research Reference: R.O. Roberts, MB ChB, MS et al; The incidence of MCI differs by subtype and is higher in men; The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Published online in the journal Neurology