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Sex and Dementia Rates

Dementia is an important issue for older women and men.  The population is aging in Canada and across most of the world and thus the proportion of older people will rise over the next few decades.  The most rapid increase will be in those over 85 years of age, a group identified by the term the "oldest old" [3].  As the average life expectancy is longer for women than men, there will be a higher proportion of women in this oldest age group. As age is a major risk factor for the development of dementia, these women will be at a much higher risk.  As shown in the figure below, in the 85 plus age group, women far outnumber men for the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease.  On the other hand, vascular dementia is more prevalent in men.


Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia [4].  The other common sub-types of dementia are also shown below.


For more Canadian statistics from Alzheimer Toronto, follow this link







3. Canadian Study of Health and Aging Working Group. Canadian Study of Health and Aging: study methods and prevalence of dementia. CMAJ 1994; 150:899-912.

4. Dugue M, Neugroschl J, Sewell M, Marin D. Review of dementia. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 2003; 70:45-53.

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