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Female Veterans, Military-Related Risk, and Dementia

Neurology; ePub 2018 Dec 12; Yaffe, et al

Women with military-related risk factors had an ≈50% to 80% increase in developing dementia relative to women without these diagnoses, while female veterans with multiple risk factors had a >2-fold risk of developing dementia. This according to a recent study that sought to determine whether diagnoses of traumatic brain injury (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression, alone or in combination, increase dementia risk among older female veterans. This cohort study included data from 109,140 female veterans aged ≥55 years receiving care from Veterans Health Administration medical centers in the US between October 2004 and September 2015 with at least 1 follow-up visit. TBI, PTSD, depression, and medical conditions at study baseline and incident dementia were determined. Researchers found:

  • During follow-up (mean 4.0 years, SD 2.3), 4% of female veterans (n=4,125) developed dementia.
  • After adjustment for demographics and medical conditions, women with TBI, PTSD, and depression had a significant increase in risk of developing dementia compared to women without these diagnoses, while women with >1 diagnosis had the highest risk for dementia.


Yaffe K, Lwi SL, Hoang TD, et al. Military-related risk factors in female veterans and risk of dementia. [Published online ahead of print December 12, 2018]. Neurology. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000006778.