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Reproductive life events and Alzheimer’s disease in Italian women: a retrospective study

Authors Zucchella C, Siforiani, Citterio, Giarracca V, Bono G, Mauri M

Received 1 August 2012

Accepted for publication 2 October 2012

Published 21 November 2012 Volume 2012:8 Pages 555—560

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S36622

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Chiara Zucchella,1 Elena Sinforiani,1 Antonietta Citterio,1 Valentina Giarracca,2 Giorgio Bono,2 Marco Mauri2

1IRCCS National Neurological Institute, C Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy; 2Department of Neurology, Ospedale di Circolo/Università dell’Insubria, Varese, Italy

Abstract: The aim of our study was to understand the complex relationship between the major reproductive life events in women with Alzheimer’s disease. In a retrospective, case-control study, 275 women with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and 276 control patients from a hospital population were enrolled from July 2007 to December 2010. The AD patients presented with later menopause (P < 0.01), lower occurrence of surgical menopause (P < 0.04), reduced hormone-replacement therapy intake (P < 0.0001), and a longer reproductive life span (P < 0.01), compared to controls. No significant differences were found with respect to age at puberty, number of pregnancies, previous abortions, or contraceptive therapy. A higher education level appeared to have a protective role against the risk of developing AD. In women, menopause and hormone-replacement therapy can differentially modulate the clinical manifestations of AD, but these factors do not play a predictive role in its development.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, gender, menopause, hormone-replacement therapy, surgical menopause, education

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