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Mild cognitive impairment less likely to develop in obese, diabetic women than men

12 Sep 2018

Among obese and overweight adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), women appear to be less likely than men to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI), independent of traditional risk factors, a recent study has shown.

Researchers cross-sectionally analysed 3,802 adults (2,323 women), of whom 99 percent (n=3,771) underwent cognitive assessments. Majority were between the ages of 55 and 64 years (males: 57.1 percent; females: 56.7 percent), had body mass index (BMI) values between 30 and 39 kg/m2 (males: 60.4 percent; females: 65.6 percent).

Cognitive status was evaluated at a mean of 11.4 years after study enrolment. MCI was reported in 6.9 percent (n=159) of women and 12.3 percent (n=179) of men, while dementia was observed in 1.4 percent (n=32) of women and 2.5 percent (n=36) of men.

After adjusting for covariates such as age, education and ethnicity, researchers showed that the likelihood of MCI or dementia was significantly lower in females (odds ratio [OR], 0.55; 95 percent CI, 0.43–0.71; p<0.001). The risk of dementia alone was nonsignificantly lower (OR, 0.79; 0.47–1.33; p=0.37).

Stepwise logistic regression analysis was performed to develop a multivariable risk factor model, which yielded the following set of predictors: age, history of cardiovascular disease, education level and depressive symptoms. Controlling for these factors did not attenuate the significantly reduced MCI risk in women (OR, 0.60; 0.47–0.76; p<0.001).

Accounting for changes in weight and physical activity over time also did not significantly affect the interaction (OR, 0.54; 0.36–0.83; pp=0.004).

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16 May 2019
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