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Why Are Women Twice as Likely to Get Alzheimer’s Disease?

Our team of compassionate caregivers at Home To Stay Health Care Solutions want to keep you informed about Alzheimer’s disease because we know it’s a major reason that so many seniors require at-home care. With nearly six million Americans afflicted with this illness in 2019, we realize you may have a parent or grandparent trying to cope with it. Studies of this disease and those suffering from it indicate that women are far more likely to get it over their male counterparts of the same age.

Why Are Women Twice as Likely to Get Alzheimer’s Disease? 2019

Why Are Women Twice as Likely to Get Alzheimer’s Disease?

Men, Women and Alzheimer’s

Women in their 60s have about a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer’s later on while men only have a 1 in 11 chance. Medical researchers studying this illness are looking into why this may be the case. The major contributors seem to be the combination of a particular set of genes as well as hormone levels in male and female bodies.

Genetic Influence on Dementia

There is a gene known as APOE that seems to have a causative relationship with Alzheimer’s. It comes in APOE2, APOE3 and APOE4 varieties. Everyone gets two copies of this gene from their parents with one coming from each. A greater prevalence of APOE4 specifically correlates with a higher likelihood of getting this illness. Depending on how much APOE4 you have, your risk of getting Alzheimer’s can be from three to 15 times higher. Researchers aren’t sure why but women have a greater chance of having an increased amount of this gene.

Hormonal Influence

Incidence of Alzheimer’s has a high correlation with lower levels of sex hormones. This applies to estrogen in women as well as lower levels of testosterone in men. This begs the question of why women have a higher chance of getting this illness if lower hormone levels within each sex increases both sexes chances of getting it. Some believe that since menopause causes estrogen levels to fall comparatively rapidly within women and men’s testosterone levels can decline more gradually, the suddenness of the transition in women may be what’s somehow increasing their risk.

Also, if lower hormone levels increase the probability of getting the illness, the question arises of whether hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might help in staving it off. Clinical trials examining this, however, have shown mixed results.

Other Factors

Researchers note that women also have a higher probability of getting other health problems related to dementia. Women are more likely to suffer from insomnia and interrupted sleep and more than twice as likely to have depression. Some researchers also note that many women currently of age to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease were born in the middle of the last century, which is a time when women had less access to education, employment and exercise. These three things are thought to be protective against developing this illness.

Final Thoughts

While researchers continue to study why women suffer from Alzheimer’s at a higher incidence than men, there are still millions of loved ones who need to take care of their elderly parents or grandparents who are so afflicted. If you are one of these people and if you live in Southern New Jersey, you should know that you don’t have to face the challenge of caring for your elderly Alzheimer’s sufferer alone. At Home to Stay Health Care Solutions, we provide a wide array of non-medical senior care that enables your parent or grandparent to stay in the home environment that they’re familiar with.

As the only certified provider of the AlzBetter method of Alzheimer’s care in our area, our compassionate caregivers will deliver high-quality care for your loved one on either a permanent basis or we can simply be there when you need a break. If you have a family member who is disabled or suffering from this type of debilitating disease, please contact us, so we can discuss your options for how we can relieve you of some of the stress in taking care of your loved one.

Andrew Dubler

Home to Stay Health Care Solutions (H2S) is a solutions minded, non-medical home care company enabling seniors and disabled members of our community to stay at home.
Home to Stay Senior Care Solutions is owned and operated by the Dubler and Skole Families and was started because of experiences they had with their own Families. In one situation Mom was living alone and had a fall. It was not until this fall that the family realized they were unprepared.

When it was time for their Mom to come home, she needed companion and personal care to assist her and prevent another accident. Like most people in this situation, they were confused and did not know where to go for help. It was this life-changing experience that lead to starting a home care company that is focused on enabling those who wish to stay at home and age in place.
Andrew Dubler