Women and Alzheimer’s – the risk is real

By Pamela J. Myers, MAOM, BSN, RN

        The risk of Alzheimer’s to women is real: Women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop the disease as they are to develop breast cancer.
        But Alzheimer’s doesn’t stop there. Women also make up more than 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in the United States – a role that often has a negative effect on their health and finances.
        Here are some quick facts about women and Alzheimer’s:
        • In the United States, approximately 11 million women are either living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone who has it.
        • Almost two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women.
        • Women in their 60s are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.
        • More than 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women. More specifically, over one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
        • Women take on more caregiving tasks than their male counterparts – and care for people with more cognitive, functional, and/or behavioral problems.
        • Nearly 19% of women Alzheimer’s caregivers had to quit work, either to become a caregiver or because their caregiving duties became too burdensome.
        There are a number of potential biological and social reasons why more women than men have Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The prevailing view has been that this discrepancy is due to the fact that women live longer than men on average, and older age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
        Researchers are now questioning whether the risk of Alzheimer’s could actually be higher for women at any given age due to biological or genetic variations or differences in life experiences.
        Help is available. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, you are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, referral and support to millions of people affected by the disease. Call the Northwest Ohio Chapter for information and support at 419-537-1999 or the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.
        Pamela J. Myers is Program Director for Alzheimer's Association Northwest and Central Ohio Chapters. 


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association