ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A new Mayo Clinic study found that the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment was 1.5 times higher in men than in women. The research, part of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, also showed a prevalence rate of 16 percent in the population-based study of individuals aged 70-89 without dementia who live in Olmsted County, Minn. The study will be published in the September issue of Neurology.
"The finding that the frequency of mild cognitive impairment is greater in men was unexpected, since the frequency of Alzheimer's disease is actually greater in women. It warrants further study," says Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., neurologist and director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. "If we consider the 16 percent prevalence of mild cognitive impairment in individuals without dementia, then add the 10-11 percent of individuals who already have dementia or Alzheimer's disease, we're looking at 25 percent or more of the population aged 70 or older who have dementia or are at risk of developing dementia in the near future. With the aging of America, these numbers are staggering and the impact on the health care economy, as well as on individuals and their families, is quite impressive. The need for early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention is increasingly important."