It is unclear whether women have higher brain tau pathology. The objective of this study was to examine whether women have higher tau burden than men, and whether tau differences are independent of amyloid β (Aβ) burden. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a multiethnic sample of 252 nondemented late middle-aged (mean age: 64.1 years) adults with tau and amyloid Positron Emission Tomography (PET) data. Tau burden was measured as global standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) in the middle/inferior temporal gyri and medial temporal cortex with F-MK-6240 PET. Aβ was measured as global SUVR with F-Florbetaben PET. Women had higher middle/inferior temporal gyri tau SUVR compared to men. However, no sex differences in the medial temporal cortex were observed. Women had higher brain Aβ SUVR compared to men. Continuous Aβ SUVR was positively correlated with medial temporal cortex and middle/inferior temporal gyri tau SUVR. However, there was no evidence of effect modification by Aβ SUVR on sex and tau. Compared with men, women in late middle age show higher tau burden, independent of Aβ.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.