Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, as part of a large national population health study, asked 48,000 people nine questions about how well they think they remember.
When asked how often they had problems remembering things, whether they had problems with remembering names and dates, if they could remember what they did one year ago and if they were able to remember details from conversations, men reported the most problems for eight out of nine questions, the researchers said.
"It was surprising to see that men forget more than women," researcher Jostein Holmen said. "This has not been documented before. It was also surprising to see that men are just as forgetful whether they are 30 or 60 years old. The results were unambiguous."
Women have the same kinds of problems with remembering as men do, but to a lesser extent, the researchers found.
"We have speculated a lot about why men report more frequent problems with remembering than women do, but have not been able to find an explanation," Holmen said. "This is still an unsolved mystery."