behavioral risk factor
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2021 ◽  
Karen Schliep ◽  
Lily Gu ◽  
Kristine Lynch ◽  
Michelle Sorweid ◽  
Michael Varner ◽  

Abstract Background Prior research indicates that at least 35% of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia risk may be amenable to prevention. Subjective cognitive decline is often the first indication of preclinical dementia, with the risk of subsequent Alzheimer’s disease in such individuals being greater in women than men. We wished to understand how modifiable factors are associated with subjective cognitive decline, and whether differences exist by sex. Methods Data were collected from men and women (45 years and older) who completed the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Cognitive Decline Module (2015–2018), n=216,838. We calculated population attributable fractions for subjective cognitive decline, stratified by sex, of the following factors: limited education, deafness, social isolation, depression, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Our models were adjusted for age, race, income, employment, marital and Veteran status, and accounted for communality among risk factors. Results The final study sample included more women (53.7%) than men, but both had a similar prevalence of subjective cognitive decline (10.6% of women versus 11.2% of men). Women and men had nearly equivalent overall population attributable fractions to explain subjective cognitive decline (39.7% for women versus 41.3% for men). The top three contributing risk factors were social isolation, depression, and hypertension, which explained three-quarters of the overall population attributable fraction. Conclusions While we did not identify any differences in modifiable factors between men and women contributing to subjective cognitive decline, other factors including reproductive or endocrinological health history or biological factors that interact with sex to modify risk warrant further research.

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