Men vs. Women: Whose Memory Is Worse?
Study Shows Older Men More Likely to Have Memory Problems Than Older Women
The study is scientifically sound, according to Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, chairman of the medical and scientific advisory council for the Alzheimer's Association, who reviewed the study for WebMD.
But the increased risk found in the study for men should be put in perspective, he says. For instance, carrying a gene known as the apoE4 allele boosts the risk of getting Alzheimer's, he says. "The gender effects still take a back seat to the genetic effects [of getting dementia] in terms of magnitude," he says.
Both men and women can improve their lifestyles to reduce their risk of dementia, says Gandy. He cites a recent study in which having belly fat as an adult boosted the risk of dementia later.
"As for recommendations [to reduce risk], for now, diet and lifestyle remain the mainstays," he says. The Alzheimer's Association recommends staying active mentally, socially, and physically, as well as adopting a "brain-healthy" diet.
To qualify as brain-healthy, a diet should be low in fat and cholesterol and be rich in dark vegetables and fruits.