Is Dementia More Prevalent in Women?

elderly woman with dementia

One of the top factors in the development of Alzheimer’s is your age – as you age, your risk of developing the disease increases. Since females are estimated to live for a longer period of time than males, researchers believe it might be one reason why they’re more likely to develop Alzheimer’s – particularly since males pass away more frequently of heart conditions when they’re in their 50s and 60s.

However, irrespective of life span, a few factors might place women at a higher risk than men. Alzheimer’s is known to be an abnormal part of growing older. And with the disease, overall mental and physical health are often affected.

Therefore, researchers have studied men and women’s mental and physical health to pinpoint possible risk factors. Females have a better chance of developing depression, which may lead to a higher risk of dementia, according to research, which includes one study from 2017 which looked at participants’ brain health over a span of 28 years.

It’s also estimated that females exercise less than males, a factor which has been connected with higher rates of this disease. However, the impact of exercise seems to lessen the risk of developing Alzheimer’s for both men and women — and still other research came to the conclusion that exercise will help slow the development of this disease.

Still, when it comes to dementia and the differences between women and men, the answers are not always so clear. Hormones and genes also may play a part, but bring researchers into murkier territory, occasionally leaving them with many more questions than answers.

The Role of Genes in Alzheimer’s

One biological risk factor for Alzheimer’s comes from a gene referred to as APOE4, which has been connected with a rise in risk in both women and men. However, having the gene might be even more dire for females – 2014 research found that women participants experienced a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than males who had the gene. Also, women see hormone fluctuations within menopause that might interact with APOE4 and might help to explain why their brains are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s.

The good news is that researchers continue to dig for answers, interventions, and effective treatment modalities. In the meantime our team at Saad Healthcare is here to support you and your family. For more questions about our dementia care services contact Saad Healthcare today at our Alabama office 1-800-279-7223.

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Valerie Mitchell