Objective: The authors investigated the frequency distribution of well-established risk factors for dementia high plasma homocysteine and the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele (APOE epsilon 4) - among older women with subjective memory complaints (SMC) but no cognitive impairment, and with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods: This was a cross-sectional, community-based study. Results: Women with MCI had higher total plasma homocysteine than healthy-comparison subjects. There was also a nonsignificant excess of APOE epsilon 4 carriers in the MCI than in the healthy group. Participants with SMC had higher depression and anxiety scores than healthy-comparison subjects, but did not differ from subjects in the healthy-comparison group in relation to their total plasma homocysteine and APOE e4 distribution. Conclusions: MCI seems to be more closely related to well-established risk factors for dementia than is SMC.