Alzheimer’s can affect adults in all age ranges. However, statistically, it’s more likely to affect older adults, especially women. In fact, women have a 1 in 5 chance of developing this common form of dementia. Men, on the other hand, have a 1 in 11 chance of being affected by Alzheimer’s. Today, we’re going to look at why women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease (AD) than men.
More Than Half of All People with Alzheimer’s Are Women
There are currently about 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. Almost 65 percent—3.2 million—are women, further suggesting women are more likely than men to develop this condition.
Longevity Is One Reason Women Are Affected More
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports women typically live about 6–8 years longer than men. This added longevity has long been cited as a reason women are more often affected by Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, because women live longer, they’re more susceptible to developing this condition during their more advanced years, when the odds of getting AD are naturally greater.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Rockwall families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Other Factors Could Make Women More Likely to Develop AD
Stanford University researchers have conducted studies to determine if there’s a genetic component that causes women to be more likely to get Alzheimer’s. Researchers focused on the ApoE4 gene, which has been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. They discovered women with this gene were twice as likely to develop AD. However, men with the same gene only had a slightly elevated Alzheimer’s risk. It’s not clear why this is the case.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Heart Health May Be a Factor as Well
A different study found men are more likely to be fatally affected by heart disease in middle age than women, but men 65 and older tend to have healthier hearts than women. Researchers speculate having healthier hearts may protect older men’s brains from the type of cell damage characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. This assumption is made because poor heart health affects circulation, which could contribute to brain cell issues and affect parts of the brain that handle essential cognitive functions.
Regardless of gender, there are other Alzheimer’s risk factors that suggest it’s a good idea for seniors to have regular physical and cognitive evaluations. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, these risk factors include:
• Having diabetes
• Being within an advanced age range (e.g., 85 and older)
• Having a history of heart disease and/or high blood pressure
• Having sustained a serious head injury
• Having a family history of Alzheimer’s disease
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Rockwall Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (972) 722-7833 to learn about the high quality of our in-home Alzheimer’s care services.