Sex ratio in dementia with Lewy bodies balanced between Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease dementia: a cross-sectional study

Alzheimers Res Ther. 2018 Sep 12;10(1):92. doi: 10.1186/s13195-018-0417-4.


Background: Gender distribution varies across neurodegenerative disorders, with, traditionally, a higher female frequency reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and a higher male frequency in Parkinson's disease (PD). Conflicting results on gender distribution are reported concerning dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), usually considered as an intermediate disease between AD and PD. The aim of the present study was to investigate gender differences in DLB in French specialized memory settings using data from the French national database spanning from 2010 to 2015 and to compare sex ratio in DLB with that in AD, Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), and PD. Our hypothesis was that there is a balanced sex ratio in DLB, different from that found in AD and PD.

Methods: We conducted a repeated cross-sectional study. The study population comprised individuals with a DLB, AD, PDD, or PD diagnosis according to the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, in the French National Alzheimer Database between 2010 and 2015. Sex ratio and demographic data were compared using multinomial logistic regression and a Bayesian statistical model.

Results: From 2010 to 2015 in French specialized memory settings, sex ratios (female percent/male percent) were found as follows: 1.21 (54.7%/45.3%) for DLB (n = 10,309), 2.34 (70.1%/29.9%) for AD (n = 135,664), 0.76 (43.1%/56.9%) for PD (n = 8744), and 0.83 (45.4%/54.6%) for PDD (n = 3198). Significant differences were found between each group, but not between PDD and PD, which had a similar sex ratio.

Conclusions: This large-sample prevalence study confirms the balanced gender distribution in the DLB population compared with AD and PD-PDD. Gender distribution and general demographic characteristics differed between DLB and PDD. This is consistent with the hypothesis that DLB is a distinct disease with characteristics intermediate between AD and PD, as well as with the hypothesis that DLB could have at least partially distinct neuropathological correlates.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Parkinson’s disease; Parkinson’s disease dementia; Sex ratio.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sex Ratio*