Elderly men are more likely than elderly women to suffer from a form of mild memory loss, according to a new study of nearly 1,500 people.

The rate of new cases of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – or mild memory loss occurring between normal aging and dementia – for men was 72 per 1,000 people, and 57 per 1,000 people for women, according to a study published in the journal Neurology on Wednesday.

The results were “surprising, given that women generally have higher rates of dementia than men,” said R.O Roberts, MB ChB, MS, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. in a statement on Wednesday.

The study involved 1,450 people from Olmsted County, Min., between the ages of 70 and 89 who were free of dementia when the study began.

They were tested every 15 months for an average of three years. They were also interviewed about their memory. At the end of the study, 296 had developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Roberts said the findings suggest risk factors for MCI should be studied separately in men and women.