More than 50 million people in the world have dementia—which includes Alzheimer’s—and that number has been rising in recent years. In fact, experts predict 75 million people will have this condition by 2030. As researchers work on ways to prevent and treat dementia, many also try to determine why Alzheimer’s affects more women than men. We have the same question, and we got some informative answers from the BBC. Here’s a look at what we learned regarding why Alzheimer’s impacts women more frequently.
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The Numbers You Need to Know
So, just how prevalent is this disease among women compared to men? Well, according to the BBC’s research, fully two-thirds of the US residents who have dementia are women. Similarly, almost two-thirds of the deaths caused by dementia in Australia have been women. So it’s no wonder dementia is now the leading cause of death for women in Australia, England, and Wales. Alzheimer’s affects more women than men worldwide, and it’s time to explore possible reasons for this.
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Why Alzheimer’s Affects More Women Than Men
Researchers have found a few reasons that Alzheimer’s affects women more than men. First, women outlive men on average; the older you are, the more likely it is that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s. But even considering this fact, there’s still a definite gender gap when it comes to dementia, so age is not the only issue
Another possible reason that Alzheimer’s affects more women than men is that some of the risk factors include smoking and heart disease. Because men are most at risk for both, there have been some really effective campaigns to get men to stop smoking and to reduce their risk of getting heart disease. Additionally, women are more likely than men to have other risk factors for dementia, such as depression. Plus, risk factors like preeclampsia and surgical menopause only affect women. Finally, caregiving—a job that mostly women take on—can lead to Alzheimer’s eventually.
As you can see, there are reasons why Alzheimer’s affects more women than men. Of course, the research is ongoing, as those in the medical field are hoping to find ways to prevent dementia in both sexes. But it’s especially interesting to study why women are more likely to get dementia. Unfortunately, studies related to this condition tend to be underfunded, despite affecting millions of people worldwide. But hopefully we can continue to get answers regarding this devastating disease.
To find out more about the research on this topic, check out: Why Alzheimer’s Hits Women Harder Than Men
More sources regarding why Alzheimer’s affects more women than men:
Why Is Alzheimer’s More Likely in Women?
How Does Alzheimer’s Affect Women and Men Differently?
7 Superfoods for Women Over 50