Dementia Risk Up in Women With Military-Linked Risk Factors

Risk for developing dementia higher for women with TBI, PTSD, and depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Women with military-related risk factors have an increased risk for developing dementia, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in Neurology.

Kristine Yaffe, M.D., from the San Francisco Veterans Health Care System, and colleagues analyzed data from 109,140 female veterans aged ≥55 years receiving care from Veterans Affairs Health Administration medical centers. The authors determined correlations of traumatic brain injury (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and medical conditions at study baseline with incident dementia.

The researchers found that 4 percent of female veterans (4,125 individuals) developed dementia during a mean follow-up of 4.0 years. Compared with women without these diagnoses, women with TBI, PTSD, and depression had a significant increase in the risk for developing dementia after adjustment for demographics and medical conditions (TBI-adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio [adjusted sHR], 1.49; PTSD-adjusted sHR, 1.78; depression-adjusted sHR, 1.67). Women with more than one diagnosis had the highest risk for dementia (adjusted sHR, 2.15).

"These results emphasize the need for more comprehensive studies of dementia risk among women, particularly female veterans, and highlight the potential role of military-related risk factor screening and treatment to reduce dementia risk," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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