Lorenzini foundation Centro studi Lorenzini foundation Centro studi

Gender Effect on Cognitive Aging

Several studies have reported that different cognitive tests are differentially associated with gender. In this study Amieva and colleagues applied a new latent cognitive factor approach to evaluate the impact of gender on cognitive aging and distinguish the effect of this on psychometric tests. The analysis was conducted on a sample of 2228 subjects (1264 women and 964 men) from PAQUID ( Personnes Agèes QUID), a population-based cohort of older adults followed for 13 years with repeated measures of cognition. Four tests were used to assess cognition: MMSE, verbal fluency, visual memory and psychomotor speed. The authors did not find any difference between men and women on global cognitive performance at age 65, but women performed better in tests involving a verbal component, while men better performed in visual memory tasks. For psychomotor speed , there was no gender effect at age 65; however, women tended to have a sharper decline with age than men. These data help to explain the conflicting results previously found in literature and to understand the gender effect on cognitive aging.