Menopause plays a key role in the differential evolution of white matter hyperintensities between men and women

Takeaway

  • White matter hyperintensities burden is similar between premenopausal women and men of similar age, but higher in postmenopausal women.

Why this matters ?

  • Sex differences in white matter hyperintensity burden exist in the elderly, a major risk factor for which is hypertension; it is unknown whether the effect of hypertension on white matter hyperintensity burden differs by sex and menopausal status.

  • This large population-based cohort covering the adult life span revealed that increased white matter hyperintensity burden accelerates with age, especially for postmenopausal women; the findings highlight the need for sex-specific medicine particularly in postmenopausal women with advanced vascular risk factors.