Dementia in Parkinson's disease: Is male gender a risk factor?

Emanuele Cereda, Roberto Cilia, Catherine Klersy, Chiara Siri, Beatrice Pozzi, Elisa Reali, Aurora Colombo, Anna Lena Zecchinelli, Claudio Bruno Mariani, Silvana Tesei, Margherita Canesi, Giorgio Sacilotto, Nicoletta Meucci, Michela Zini, Ioannis Ugo Isaias, Michela Barichella, Erica Cassani, Stefano Goldwurm, Gianni Pezzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The rates of cognitive decline in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are higher than in the general population. Age and disease duration have been associated with increasing rates of dementia in PD. However, the role of other factors including gender has been poorly investigated. We investigated the relationship between dementia and gender along with other established risk factors, such as age and disease duration. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study including all consecutive patients diagnosed with idiopathic PD attending a single out-patient tertiary clinic over an 18-year period (1995-2013). Dementia was diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. Results: Prevalence of dementia was 11.5% (95%CI, 10.8-12.3) and 13.5% (95%CI, 12.7-14.5) in the whole population (N = 6599) and in those aged ≥60 years (N = 5373), respectively. Age and disease duration were independently associated with dementia, and the latter was associated with dementia up to 84 years of age. Male gender was an independent risk factor. In addition, while the rate of dementia increased in males over all age strata, we found that in females prevalence began to increase steadily after the age of 65 years, reaching male estimates only after 80 years of age. Higher rates in male gender were observed between 60 and 80 years of age. Conclusion: Age and PD duration are confirmed risk factors for dementia. However, disease duration appeared to be a less important factor in cognitive decline in patients aged ≥85 years. As opposed to gender-specific estimates in the general population, male gender is likely associated with higher rates of dementia in PD patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 31 2015


  • Dementia
  • Epidemiology
  • Gender
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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