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Report: Women 60 years or older have one in six chance of getting Alzheimer's disease

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/19/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Women also more than likely to be tasked with caring for Alzheimer's patients

According to a report from the Alzheimer's Association, women 60 years and older have a one in six chance of contracting Alzheimer's in their lifetime. They are also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's as compared with breast cancer.

Women are also disproportionately affected when it comes to caring for people with Alzheimer's. Sixty percent of caregivers are women and the care they give is more intense physically and emotionally.

Women are also disproportionately affected when it comes to caring for people with Alzheimer's. Sixty percent of caregivers are women and the care they give is more intense physically and emotionally.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/19/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Alzheimer's, gender disparity, cancer, figures, report


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Men, by comparison, have a 1 in 11 chance of getting Alzheimer's, according to the 2014 Facts and Figures report.

Age has always been the greatest risk factor for gender differences among Alzheimer's patients. However, it's not the only reason. According to Maria Carrillo, vice president of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer's Association, researchers are also looking at genetic and hormonal differences.

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The disease affects more than five million Americans, two-thirds of them women. A survey of more than 3,000 women commissioned by the Alzheimer's Association shared the new details about this disease and its impact on women.

While two well-established risk factors for Alzheimer's are genetics and aging, "there is hope that adopting healthy brain life habits might delay or prevent the appearance of Alzheimer's disease," the association says.

Among doctor recommended suggestions is to stay physically active to maintain good blood flow to the brain and encourage new brain cells. Women should also eat a "brain-healthy diet" low in fat and cholesterol.

It's also highly important to stay social to reduce stress levels and maintain healthy brain cell connections. More importantly, stay mentally active to strengthen brain cells and the connections between them.

Women are also disproportionately affected when it comes to caring for people with Alzheimer's. Sixty percent of caregivers are women and the care they give is more intense physically and emotionally.

Women are also more likely to provide round-the-clock care, including feeding, clothing and diapering. The average length of time an Alzheimer's patient requires 24-hour care is four to seven years, but could be as long as 20 years. The cost of Alzheimer's care is estimated to be $214 billion for this year alone.

"We wish we had expensive treatments to brag about, but we don't, so it's important to highlight that research funding and research commitments are critical for us to change that balance," Carrillo says.

Carrillo hopes she'll be talking about the cost of treatments rather than the cost of care. Mortality rates for other diseases, like breast cancer, are dropping, but the rate of Alzheimer's deaths is on the rise.

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