man and womanThe risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease appears to differ between the sexes, suggests a new French study.

In a review of almost 7000 people over the age of 65 researchers discovered the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s, varied significantly between genders.

Men with MCI were more likely to be overweight, diabetic, and to have had a stroke. Additionally, men who had had a stroke were almost three times as likely to progress from MCI to Alzheimer’s.

Women with MCI were more likely to be in poorer general health, disabled, suffering from insomnia and to have a poor support network.

Women unable to perform routine daily tasks, which would allow them to live without assistance, were 3.5 times as likely to progress to Alzheimer’s. And those who were depressed were twice as likely to do so.

Stroke was not a risk factor for women, despite a similar rate of occurrence in both sexes.

The research is published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Source: British Medical Journal