Analyses of gender differences in profiles of nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease

Robert J. Buchanan, Suojin Wang, Hyunsu Ju, David Graber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Scopus citations


    Background. Alzheimer's disease (AD), a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by memory loss, language deterioration, impairment of visuospatial skills, poor judgment, and indifference, but preserved motor function, is the most common type of dementia, accounting for two thirds or more of all cases of dementia. The identification of differences between men and women with AD might present opportunities to improve the quality of AD-related care provided by nursing facilities, as well as lead to additional analyses of nursing home residents with AD. Objective: The objectives of this study were to gain additional insight into gender differences in nursing home residents with AD in the United States, and to provide a better understanding of their health status and the care they receive in nursing facilities. Methods: All admission assessments recorded in the Minimum Data Set (MDS) throughout the United States during 2000 were analyzed. P values for all significant differences were <0.001. Results: A total of 49,607 residents with a diagnosis of AD (67.9% women) were identified. Female residents with AD were more likely to be older and widowed, whereas male residents with AD were more likely to be married. We found minimal gender differences in cognitive impairment among these residents with AD, although women were more likely to understand and be understood by others. Male residents with AD were more likely to exhibit behavioral symptoms, whereas female residents with AD tended to be more physically impaired and dependent on others for activities of daily living. Significant differences in comorbidities were found between the sexes, with greater proportions of male residents with AD having cardiac-related conditions, stroke, cancer, and other life-threatening chronic conditions. Male residents with AD were more likely to receive care in AD special-care units; daily antipsychotic medications; and intervention programs for mood, behavior, and cognitive loss than female residents with AD. Conclusions: In this study of nursing home residents identified using the MDS, key differences were found between male and female residents with AD, including age; cognitive and communicative abilities; and mental health, mood, and behavioral patterns.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)48-59
    Number of pages12
    JournalGender Medicine
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Aug 2004


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Gender
    • Long-term-care facilities
    • Minimum data set
    • Nursing facilities

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies


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