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Women Disproportionately Affected by Alzheimer's Disease
Updated March 8, 2019 12:08 PM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer's crisis. Not only are they more likely than men to be caregivers, but women are also more likely to develop the disease.

In honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter recognizes the strength of women as a force to address and create change around issues such as Alzheimer's disease.

According to the 2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report released just this week:

  • Nearly two-thirds of the more than 5 million 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 percent of Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers are women, and more than one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
  • Approximately 13 million women in the United States are either living with Alzheimer's or caring for someone with the disease.

"Nearly 19 percent of women Alzheimer's caregivers quit work to become a caregiver or because their caregiving duties are too demanding," said Natalie Sutton, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter. "We see the hardships women face daily and are here to support them as they take on the emotional and financial burdens of Alzheimer's disease."

There are a number of potential biological and social reasons why more women than men have Alzheimer's or other dementias. The prevailing view is 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.

More information regarding women and Alzheimer's disease can be viewed here.

About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support, and all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's®. Visit alz.org or call 800-272-3900.



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