Mild Cognitive Problems More Common In Men

A new study by the Mayo Clinic has found that the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment was 1.5 times higher in men than in women.

The research which is 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.  These are residents of Olmsted County, Minn.

According to the researchers, the finding that the frequency of mild cognitive impairment is greater in men was unexpected.  They noted this was due to the fact that the frequency of Alzheimer’s disease is actually greater in women.

Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., neurologist and director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center notes, “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, states Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.  “There is a financial, emotional and physical toll on millions of  individuals and their families.” Slome notes, “and few have taken any steps to prepare.”  

According to the organization, some eight million Americans currently have long-term care insurance in place.  This coverage provides payments and benefits for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.   Experts advise consumers to look into this protection in their 50s when rates are most affordable and tbe ability to health qualify is higher.

A free guide on reducing the cost of long-term care insurance can be accessed on the Association’s website.


The Mayo study will be published in the September issue of Neurology.

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