More Women Get Alzheimer’s Than Men. Why?


March 10, 2022

More Women Get Alzheimer’s Than Men. Why?Of the many mysteries surrounding Alzheimer’s, one of the most puzzling is why more women than men develop the disease. In the United States, nearly two-thirds of the more than 6 million people living with Alzheimer’s — or about 3.8 million individuals — are women.

Quick Facts:

  • In the United States, approximately 11 MILLION WOMEN are either living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone who has it.
  • 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.
  • 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 women living longer than men on average, and older age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s. However, researchers are questioning whether this risk could actually be higher for women at any given age due to biological or genetic variations or differences in life experiences.

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We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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