Browsing by Subject "sex differences"

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  • Jelenkovic, Aline; Rebato, Esther (2016)
    Background: Earlier menarche has been related to shorter height and greater obesity-related anthropometric dimensions and blood pressure in women. Boys and girls with earlier maternal menarcheal age (MMA) have shown greater height and body mass index (BMI) in childhood. Aim: To analyse associations of menarcheal age with their own and their children's anthropometric dimensions and blood pressure. Subjects and methods: The sample consisted of 493 women and their children (aged 2-19 years) from Greater Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain). For both generations there is information on 19 anthropometric dimensions, blood pressure and socio-demographic characteristics. Linear regressions adjusted for different covariates were used to analyse the associations. Results: Menarcheal age in women showed the greatest positive associations with iliospinal height and ectomorphy and negative associations with BMI, sum of six skin-folds, endomorphy and mesomorphy. Boys with earlier MMA had greater body heights and breadths, particularly iliospinal height and biacromial breadth (0.10z-score/year; p Conclusion: Children with earlier MMA tend to have greater anthropometric dimensions. Adolescent growth spurt might affect these relationships, at least in girls.
  • Saure, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Background and objectives: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are developmental neuropsychiatric disorders in which core symptoms are problems in communication and interaction as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviour and interests. ASD is 2-5 times more common in males than in females. In recent years, researchers have found, that there are differences between females and males in ASD symptoms, neuropsychological characteristics, comorbid problems, neurobiology and etiology. The purpose of this systematic review is to give a comprehensive picture about the role of female sex/gender in ASD. To establish this, the review covers symptoms of autism, neuropsychology, neurobiology, comorbidity, neurogenetics and neuroendocrinology. Research questions were the following: 1) Is there evidence of sex/gender differences in ASD symptoms and comorbidity disorders? 2) Are there sex/gender differences to be found in ASD etiology? 3) What kind of support different explanations about sex/gender bias have gotten in various research areas? The purpose of the study is also to integrate the existing theories into one model that takes account to different aspects of sex/gender differences in ASD. Methods: The protocol of this systematic review follows "The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses" (PRISMA) when applicable. Eligibly criteria and search terms were selected in a way that would offer the widest range of articles covering the subjects of this study. Literature search was conducted using the Medline and PsychINFO as search engines. The final sample consisted of a total of 129 articles. Data was extracted on all relevant variables of the study, that were the number of participants, age of participants, specific diagnoses, methods and results. Results: Sex/gender differences in ASD were found in all areas that were included in this systematic review. Females with high function ASD (HFASD) were found to have less problems in social communication and interaction and less repetitive and restricted behavior and interests than males with HFASD. In addition, HFASD were found to have better language skills than males with HFASD. However, females with ASD were found to have more sensory processing problems, mental health problems and epilepsy than males with ASD. Females with ASD were also found to have lower full-scale intelligence quotient than males with ASD. In the context of etiology, it has been found that there are sex/gender differences in neuroanatomy, susceptibility genes and hormone levels. Conclusions: Results from this systematic review suggest that females with HFASD are underdiagnosed. This results from etiological sex/gender differences that cause partially different clinical presentation of ASD between females and males. ASD research has also concentrated mostly on males with ASD while ignoring females with ASD. Underdiagnosing can have many unfavorable consequences for females with HFASD since if they do not have a diagnosis, they do not get support. In the future, it is crucial to pay attention to females with ASD in the clinical work and scientific research.
  • CTR-TBI Participants; Mikolic, Ana; van Klaveren, David; Oude Groeniger, Joost; Polinder, Suzanne; Palotie, Aarno; Piippo-Karjalainen, Anna; Pirinen, Matti; Raj, Rahul; Ripatti, Samuli (2021)
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant cause of disability, but little is known about sex and gender differences after TBI. We aimed to analyze the association between sex/gender, and the broad range of care pathways, treatment characteristics, and outcomes following mild and moderate/severe TBI. We performed mixed-effects regression analyses in the prospective multi-center Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) study, stratified for injury severity and age, and adjusted for baseline characteristics. Outcomes were various care pathway and treatment variables, and 6-month measures of functional outcome, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), post-concussion symptoms (PCS), and mental health symptoms. The study included 2862 adults (36% women) with mild (mTBI; Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score 13-15), and 1333 adults (26% women) with moderate/severe TBI (GCS score 3-12). Women were less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU; odds ratios [OR] 0.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.4-0.8) following mTBI. Following moderate/severe TBI, women had a shorter median hospital stay (OR 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5-1.0). Following mTBI, women had poorer outcomes; lower Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE; OR 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2-1.6), lower generic and disease-specific HRQoL, and more severe PCS, depression, and anxiety. Among them, women under age 45 and above age 65 years showed worse 6-month outcomes compared with men of the same age. Following moderate/severe TBI, there was no difference in GOSE (OR 0.9, 95% CI: 0.7-1.2), but women reported more severe PCS (OR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1-2.6). Men and women differ in care pathways and outcomes following TBI. Women generally report worse 6-month outcomes, but the size of differences depend on TBI severity and age. Future studies should examine factors that explain these differences.
  • Rocha, Ricardo; Ferreira, Diogo F.; Lopez-Baucells, Adria; Farneda, Fabio Z.; Carreiras, Joao M. B.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Meyer, Christoph F. J. (2017)
    Understanding the consequences of habitat modification on wildlife communities is central to the development of conservation strategies. However, albeit male and female individuals of numerous species are known to exhibit differences in habitat use, sex-specific responses to habitat modification remain little explored. Here, we used a landscape-scale fragmentation experiment to assess, separately for males and females, the effects of fragmentation on the abundance of Carollia perspicillata and Rhinophylla pumilio, two widespread Neotropical frugivorous bats. We predicted that sex-specific responses would arise from higher energetic requirements from pregnancy and lactation in females. Analyses were conducted independently for each season, and we further investigated the joint responses to local and landscape-scale metrics of habitat quality, composition, and configuration. Although males and females responded similarly to a fragmentation gradient composed by continuous forest, fragment interiors, edges, and matrix habitats, we found marked differences between sexes in habitat use for at least one of the seasons. Whereas the sex ratio varied little in continuous forest and fragment interiors, females were found to be more abundant than males in edge and matrix habitats. This difference was more prominent in the dry season, the reproductive season of both species. For both species, abundance responses to local-and landscape-scale predictors differed between sexes and again, differences were more pronounced in the dry season. The results suggest considerable sex-mediated responses to forest disruption and degradation in tropical bats and complement our understanding of the impacts of fragmentation on tropical forest vertebrate communities. Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material.
  • Wesolowska, Karolina; Elovainio, Marko; Hintsa, Taina; Jokela, Markus; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Lipsanen, Jari; Juonala, Markus; Raitakari, Olli; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa (2018)
    Objective: Depressive symptoms have been associated with Type 2 diabetes, but the temporal direction of this association and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The present study examined a potential bidirectional association between depressive symptoms and glucose levels in women and men, and the factors mediating this association. Method: The participants were from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, a prospective, population-based, cohort study (N = 2,534). Depressive symptoms were assessed using a modified Beck Depression Inventory. Fasting glucose was measured concurrently with depressive symptoms. To analyze the data, a multiple-group cross-lagged analysis and parallel multiple mediation in structural equation modeling were used. Results: Depressive symptoms in 2001 were positively associated with glucose levels in 2012 in women (beta = .07, p = .023) but not in men (beta = -.03, p = .45). This sex difference was statistically significant (p = .042). Glucose levels in 2001 did not predict depressive symptoms in 2012 in either women or men (ps = .96). Changes in body mass index, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, alcohol consumption, or tobacco or cigarette smoking did not mediate the observed association (ps > .05). Conclusions: The results showed a positive association between depressive symptoms and glucose levels in women but not in men. The direction of this relationship seems to be from depressive symptoms to glucose levels rather than the reverse. Changes in body fat, inflammation, alcohol consumption, or tobacco or cigarette smoking may not play a mediating role in this observed association.
  • Mehmetoglu, Mehmet; Määttänen, Ilmari (2020)
    Previous research has provided evidence that females are generally the more selective sex in humans. Moreover, both sexes have been found to be more selective in long-term mating compared to short-term mating. In this study, we have examined the effects of sex, mating strategy (preferred relationship length) and their interaction on mate preferences (i.e., mate selection criteria) in an egalitarian Nordic society, namely Norway. The study sample consisted of 1,000 individuals, 417 of whom were male and 583 female respondents. According to our findings, men were more selective in physical appearance, whereas women were more selective in all the other mate preferences (e.g., understanding, dominant, kind, intellectual etc.). The respondents that were seeking short-term relationships had higher preference for physical appearance, humorousness and sociability. On the other hand, the respondents that were seeking long-term relationships were more selective in most of the other mate preferences (i.e., understanding, kind, cultivated, domestic, reliable, and similar). Interestingly, no interaction effect was found between sex and mating strategy in that differences between long-term and short-term seekers in mate preferences did not change depending on sex. This suggests that men and women value the same traits in short-term relationships.
  • Barr, Peter B.; Kuo, Sally I-Chun; Aliev, Fazil; Latvala, Antti; Viken, Richard; Rose, Richard J.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Salvatore, Jessica E.; Dick, Danielle M. (2019)
    Background and Aims Previous twin research suggests relationship status can moderate underlying genetic liability towards alcohol misuse. This paper examined: (1) whether genome-wide polygenic scores (GPS) for alcohol consumption are associated with alcohol misuse; (2) whether these GPS are moderated by romantic relationships (gene-environment interaction; G x E) and (3) whether G x E results are consistent across sex. Design Linear mixed-effects models were used to test associations between genome-wide polygenic scores, relationship status and alcohol use/misuse. Setting Finnish twins born between 1983 and 1987 identified through Finland's central population registry. Participants An intensively studied subset of Finnish Twin Study (FinnTwin12) during the young adult phase (aged 20-26 years). The analytical sample includes those with complete interview and genetic data (n = 1201). Measurements Key measurements included involvement in a romantic partnership, drinking frequency, intoxication frequency and DSM-IV alcohol dependence (AD) symptoms. Genome-wide polygenic scores (GPS) were created from available summary statistics from a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) of drinks per week. Results GPS predicted drinking frequency [b = 0.109; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.050, 0.168], intoxication frequency (b = 0.111; 95% CI = 0.054, 0.168) and AD symptoms (b = 0.123; 95% CI = 0.064, 0.182). Having a romantic relationship negatively influenced the association between GPS and drinking frequency (b = -0.105; 95% CI = -0.211, -0.001), intoxication frequency (b = -0.118; 95% CI = -0.220, -0.016) and AD symptoms (b = -0.119; 95% CI = -0.229, -0.009). There was a three-way interaction between sex, relationship status and GPS for intoxication frequency (b = 0.223; 95% CI = 0.013, 0.433), such that the reduced association between GPS and intoxication frequency for those in a relationship was only apparent in males. We found no evidence of three-way interactions for drinking frequency or AD symptoms. Conclusions Being in a romantic relationship reduced the association between genetic predisposition and drinking, high-risk drinking and alcohol problems. However, for high-risk drinking the protective effect was limited to males, mapping onto earlier findings suggesting that males benefit more from romantic partnerships.
  • Lindgren, Noora; Rinne, Juha O.; Palviainen, Teemu; Kaprio, Jaakko; Vuoksimaa, Eero (2019)
    Objectives The modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-m) is an efficient and cost-effective screening instrument of dementia, but there is less support for its utility in the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the utility of different TICS-m versions with or without an education-adjusted scoring method to classify dementia and MCI in a large population-based sample. Methods Cross-sectional assessment of cognition (TICS-m), depressive symptoms (CES-D), and apolipoprotein E (APOE) epsilon 4 status was performed on 1772 older adults (aged 71-78 y, education 5-16 y, 50% female) from the population-based older Finnish Twin Cohort. TICS-m classification methods with and without education adjustment were used to classify individuals with normal cognition, MCI, or dementia. Results The prevalence of dementia and MCI varied between education-adjusted (dementia = 3.7%, MCI = 9.3%) and unadjusted classifications (dementia = 8.5%-11%, MCI = 22.3%-41.3%). APOE epsilon 4 status was associated with dementia irrespective of education adjustment, but with MCI only when education adjustment was used. Regardless of the version, poorer continuous TICS-m scores were associated with higher age, lower education, more depressive symptoms, male sex, and being an APOE epsilon 4 carrier. Conclusions We showed that demographic factors, APOE epsilon 4 status, and depressive symptoms were similarly related to continuous TICS-m scores and dementia classifications with different versions. However, education-adjusted classification resulted in a lower prevalence of dementia and MCI and in a higher proportion of APOE epsilon 4 allele carriers among those identified as having MCI. Our results support the use of education-adjusted classification especially in the context of MCI.
  • Vuoksimaa, Eero (Helsingfors universitet, 2004)
    Studies concerning cognitive sex differences have indicated that, on average, females outperform males in some verbal abilities, whereas males outperform females in some visual-spatial abilities. Prenatal hormones play important role in sexual differentiation. Presence of androgens is believed to cause male brain differentiation. According to animal studies prenatal exposure to testosterone in females can result in masculinized behaviour or physiological traits. Human studies of possible masculinization of females from opposite-sex twin pairs are controversial. Some studies have indicated that female members of opposite-sex twins may be masculinized in some traits, while other studies show no evidence of masculinization. Hence the aim of the present study is to investigate sex differences and possible masculinization of cognitive functions in young adult twins. Subjects (N=336) were recruited from the ongoing longitudinal FinnTwin16 study of Finnish twins born in 1974-1979. Results indicate female superiority in verbal and executive functions and male superiority in visual and working memory functions. Further, in female members of opposite-sex twin pairs the visual abilities were enhanced to the male level. However, they still outperformed males in verbal and executive functions. In male members of opposite-sex twin pairs there were no signs of better performance in functions that favored females. Nor there were evidence of reduced performance in functions that favored males. This study suggests that there occurs masculinization of cognitive functions in females who have a male co-twin. In contrast, males with female co-twins are not feminized in their cognitive functions. These results indicate some benefits of twinship in female members of opposite-sex twin pairs in cognitive abilities. Whether the masculinization is a result of organizational effects of prenatal testosterone or postnatal environmental influences could not be resolved. Future research, with control over environmental influences, is needed to determine the origin of masculinization of cognitive abilities.