Reproductive period, endogenous estrogen exposure and dementia incidence among women in Latin America and China; A 10/66 population-based cohort study

Martin J. Prince, Daisy Acosta, Mariella Guerra, Yueqin Huang, Ivonne Z. Jimenez-velazquez, Juan J. Llibre Rodriguez, Aquiles Salas, Ana Luisa Sosa, Kia-Chong Chua, Michael E. Dewey, Zhaorui Liu, Rosie Mayston, Adolfo Valhuerdi, Charbel El Bcheraoui

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Exposure to endogenous estrogen may protect against dementia, but evidence remains equivocal. Such effects may be assessed more precisely in settings where exogenous estrogen administration is rare. We aimed to determine whether reproductive period (menarche to menopause), and other indicators of endogenous estrogen exposure are inversely associated with dementia incidence.

Population-based cohort studies of women aged 65 years and over in urban sites in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, and rural and urban sites in Peru, Mexico and China. Sociodemographic and risk factor questionnaires were administered to all participants, including ages at menarche, birth of first child, and menopause, and parity, with ascertainment of incident 10/66 dementia, and mortality, three to five years later.

9,428 women participated at baseline, with 72–98% responding by site. The ‘at risk’ cohort comprised 8,466 dementia-free women. Mean age varied from 72.0 to 75.4 years, lower in rural than urban sites and in China than in Latin America. Mean parity was 4.1 (2.4–7.2 by site), generally higher in rural than urban sites. 6,854 women with baseline reproductive period data were followed up for 26,463 person years. There were 692 cases of incident dementia, and 895 dementia free deaths. Pooled meta-analysed fixed effects, per year, for reproductive period (Adjusted Sub-Hazard Ratio [ASHR] 1.001, 95% CI 0.988–1.015) did not support any association with dementia incidence, with no evidence for effect modification by APOE genotype. No association was observed between incident dementia and; ages at menarche, birth of first child, and menopause: nulliparity; or index of cumulative endogenous estrogen exposure. Greater parity was positively associated with incident dementia (ASHR 1.030, 95% CI 1.002–1.059, I2 = 0.0%).

We found no evidence to support the theory that natural variation in cumulative exposure to endogenous oestrogens across the reproductive period influences dementia incidence in late life.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0192889
Number of pages13
JournalPL o S One
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2018


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