LGBT people may have higher risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia. Are social stressors to blame?

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LGBT Americans report increased rates of memory loss and confusion — two early signs of dementia — compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts, a large survey has found. The observations present new risk factors to consider for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, and raise questions about the potential influence of social stressors.

One in seven, or 14%, of people in sexual and gender minorities reported memory problems that got worse over the past year. This contrasts with 1 in 10, or 10%, of heterosexual and cisgender people reporting the same problems. After adjusting for characteristics such as age, gender, race and ethnicity, marital status, and income, the researchers found that LGBT individuals were 29% more likely to report cognitive impairment,

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Exactly why there might be a higher risk of memory loss and confusion among LGBT people is unclear. It could be due to challenges such as depression or stress in social situations, according to Stern and Henderson. Flatt noted that as LGBT individuals get older, they are less likely to have strong social support networks, such as a partner or children, and may end up living where people might not accept who they are.

Read full, original post: LGBT people more likely than counterparts to report memory problems, survey finds

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