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Mild cognitive impairment is common, affects men most, study finds

Date:
January 26, 2012
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Researchers report that more than 6 percent of Americans age 70 to 89 develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) every year. Also, the condition appears to affect men and those who only have a high school education more than women and those who have completed some higher education. People with MCI are at the stage between suffering the normal forgetfulness associated with aging and developing dementia, such as that caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers involved in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging report that more than 6 percent of Americans age 70 to 89 develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) every year. Also, the condition appears to affect men and those who only have a high school education more than women and those who have completed some higher education. People with MCI are at the stage between suffering the normal forgetfulness associated with aging and developing dementia, such as that caused by Alzheimer's disease.

The study -- published in the Jan. 25, 2012, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology -- reports that 296 of the 1,450 study participants developed MCI, an incidence rate of 6.4 percent per year overall. Among men, the incidence rate was 7.2 percent, compared with 5.7 percent per year for women.

"While incidence rates for MCI have been reported previously, ours is one of the few studies designed specifically to measure the incidence of MCI and its subtypes using published criteria," says lead author Rosebud O. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B., of the Mayo Clinic Division of Epidemiology. "The statistically significant difference between incidence rates among men and women represents an important finding for those evaluating patients for MCI."

The study also looked in more detail at patients with MCI, dividing them according to whether they developed amnestic MCI (aMCI) -- in which the condition affects the memory domain -- or non-amnestic MCI (naMCI).

Similar to the overall results, the incidence rates for aMCI and naMCI were higher in men than in women. In addition, the study found that individuals with only a high school education developed either aMCI or naMCI at a higher rate than those with some higher education.

"Understanding the distribution of incident MCI by age, sex and other demographic variables is critical to helping us understand the cause of the condition, as well as how to prevent MCI and its progression to full-blown, irreversible dementia," Dr. Roberts says. "This study advances our understanding of MCI and will help clinicians provide even better care for their patients, especially during initial evaluations."

About Mild Cognitive Impairment

People with MCI have mild problems with thinking and memory that do not interfere with everyday activities, although their forgetfulness is often apparent to them and their friends and family. While not everyone with MCI develops dementia, an estimated 5 to 10 percent do.

Symptoms of MCI include:

  • Difficulty learning and remembering new information
  • Difficulty solving problems or making decisions
  • Forgetting recent events or conversations
  • Taking longer to perform complex or difficult mental activities.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. O. Roberts, Y. E. Geda, D. S. Knopman, R. H. Cha, V. S. Pankratz, B. F. Boeve, E. G. Tangalos, R. J. Ivnik, W. A. Rocca, R. C. Petersen. The incidence of MCI differs by subtype and is higher in men: The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Neurology, 2012; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182452862

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Mild cognitive impairment is common, affects men most, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125163412.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2012, January 26). Mild cognitive impairment is common, affects men most, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125163412.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Mild cognitive impairment is common, affects men most, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125163412.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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Men at Higher Risk for Mild Memory Loss Than Women, Study Finds

Jan. 25, 2012 Men may be at higher risk of experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or the stage of mild memory loss that occurs between normal aging and dementia, than women, according to a new ... read more
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