Alzheimer risk after more than five kids
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.