Alzheimer risk af­ter more than five kids

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - JANE HANSEN

WOMEN who have more than five chil­dren may have a greater risk of de­vel­op­ing Alzheimer’s disease later in life, new Aus­tralian re­search shows.

The study of 3549 women in two pop­u­la­tion groups found those who had more than five chil­dren had al­most dou­ble the risk of de­vel­op­ing Alzheimer’s disease later in life com­pared to women who had one to four chil­dren.

Women who mis­car­ried, and never went on to have a com­pleted preg­nancy with a live birth had half the risk.

Dr Dar­ren Lip­nicki, from the Cen­tre for Healthy Brain Age­ing at the Univer­sity of New South Wales pre­sented his find­ings at the Alzheimer’s As­so­ci­a­tion In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence held in Syd­ney last week.

“Those who had an in­com­plete preg­nancy had a lower risk,” Dr Lip­nicki said, adding he was col­lab­o­rat­ing on a much larger study of women from Asia, Latin Amer­ica, Aus­tralia and Euro­pean coun­tries on the same sub­ject which was near­ing com­ple­tion.

The lat­est Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics re­leased last week showed de­men­tia is the lead­ing cause of death in women and the sec­ond in men.

Preg­nancy causes ma­jor hor­monal changes and repli­cat­ing the re­sults in other pop­u­la­tions may lead to the devel­op­ment of hor­mone-based pre­ven­tive strate­gies aimed at re­duc­ing Alzheimer’s risk in women.

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