Woman with Alzheimer's Disease

Women at higher risk for developing Alzheimer's Disease

A report released by the Alzheimer's Association reveals that women are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer's than their male counterparts.

More than 5 million Americans suffer from the disorder, and 3.2 million of those cases are in women. The latest research shows a woman's lifetime risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease is one in six, compared with one in 11 for men.

Women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.

Women are also shouldering the responsibility for caring for parents affected by Alzheimer’s. More than twice as many women as men provide 24-hour care for a loved one with the disease, and twice as many women as men gave up working full time in order to do so.

Even more shocking is the amount of money spent on care. The physical and emotional impact of dementia caregiving resulted in an estimated $9.3 billion in increased healthcare costs for Alzheimer's caregivers in 2013.

Here are a few additional highlights from the report:

  • By 2050, 16 million people will be living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • African Americans are twice as likely as whites to develop Alzheimer’s.
  • About one-third of seniors who die each year in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • In 2013, Americans, mostly women, provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to patients with Alzheimer’s.
  • In 2014, Americans will spend $214 billion to care for patients with Alzheimer’s. In 2050, that amount will reach $1.2 trillion.

More information about Alzheimer's Disease, research and treatment can be found at www.alz.org.

Alzheimer's and Community Health Network

Community has experts in neurological care, as well as senior care. Both service areas offer information and support for patients and their caregivers.