Motherhood and a later menopause may lower the incidence of dementia in women.
According to a survey of more than half a million people, a lady without children is 18% more likely than a mother of two to be diagnosed with dementia.
Dementia is also 32% more probable in a woman who enters menopause naturally at the age of 47, compared to a woman who enters menopause later at the age of 50.
By exposing a woman to more estrogen during her lifetime, pregnancy, and extended child-bearing years before menopause may assist to prevent dementia.
When the hormone is at the proper amount in the body, it can aid with brain protection.
That could explain another finding: women who have previously taken the contraceptive pill are 20% less likely to develop dementia.
The tablet, which affects hormone levels, may be beneficial to the brain as well.
Researchers studied 273,000 women and 229,000 men aged 40 to 69 in the United Kingdom, who were followed for an average of nearly 12 years to determine if they got dementia.
The study focused on women, who are twice as likely as men to develop dementia and account for two-thirds of dementia fatalities.
The role of’reproductive factors,’ such as their age when they started menopause, had a baby, or went through puberty, was investigated.
‘While the risk of having dementia grows with age, we don’t yet know whether the higher rates reported in women are simply because they live longer,’ said Jessica Gong, the study’s lead author from the George Institute for Global Health in Australia.
‘However, female-specific reproductive characteristics may be able to explain some of the sex disparities,’ says the researcher.
According to the findings of the study, starting puberty earlier in life is connected to a lower incidence of dementia.
A woman who had her first period after the age of 14 was roughly a fifth more likely to acquire dementia than one who had it at the age of 13.
It’s possible that this is due to the oestrogen required to create an egg every month after puberty.