Health News

Health News

 
text size

Alzheimers more common in women than men

Updated: Monday, March 24 2014, 11:27 PM CDT

Women are far more likely to be impacted by Alzheimer's disease than men.

That's according to a report released today from the Alzheimer's Association. a woman's estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer's at age 65 is 1 in 6, compared with nearly 1 in 11 for a man. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women's health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer*.

"Through our role in the development of The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's in 2010, in conjunction with Maria Shriver, we know that women are the epicenter of Alzheimer's disease, representing majority of both people with the disease and Alzheimer's caregivers. Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures examines the impact of this unbalanced burden," said Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer of the Alzheimer's Association. "Well-deserved investments in breast cancer and other leading causes of death such as heart disease, stroke and HIV/AIDS have resulted in substantial decreases in death. Comparable investments are now needed to realize the same success with Alzheimer's in preventing and treating the disease."

Adding to women's Alzheimer's burden, there are 2.5 times as many women than men providing intensive "on- duty" care 24 hours for someone living with Alzheimer's disease. Among caregivers who feel isolated, women are much more likely than men to link isolation with feeling depressed (17 percent of women vs. 2 percent of men).

The strain of caring for someone with Alzheimer's is also felt in the workplace. Among caregivers who have been employed while they were also caregiving:

    20 percent of women vs. 3 percent of men went from working full-time to working part-time while acting as a caregiver.
    18 percent of women vs. 11 percent of men took a leave of absence.
    11 percent of women vs. 5 percent of men gave up work entirely.
    10 percent of women vs. 5 percent of men lost job benefits.

Human and Financial Toll of Alzheimer's
There are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, including 3.2 million women and 200,000 people under the age of 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer's disease, but Alzheimer's has far reaching effects that can plague entire families. There are currently 15.5 million caregivers providing 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care in the U.S., often at the detriment of their own health. The physical and emotional impact of dementia caregiving resulted in an estimated $9.3 billion in increased healthcare costs for Alzheimer's caregivers in 2013.

The total national cost of caring for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias is projected to reach $214 billion this year, not including unpaid caregiving by family and friends valued at more than $220 billion. In 2014, the cost to Medicare and Medicaid of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias will reach a combined $150 billion with Medicare spending nearly $1 in every $5 on people with Alzheimer's or another dementia.

These numbers are set to soar as the baby boomers continue to enter the age of greatest risk for Alzheimer's disease. Unless something is done to change the course of the disease, there could be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer's in 2050, at a cost of $1.2 trillion (in current dollars) to the nation. This dramatic rise includes a 500 percent increase in combined Medicare and Medicaid spending and a 400 percent increase in out- of-pocket spending. The country's first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease has a goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's disease by 2025. Ensuring strong implementation of the National Alzheimer's Plan, including adequately funding Alzheimer's research, is the best way to avoid these staggering human and financial tolls.

Lack of Understanding of the Disease
Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, yet it is still widely misunderstood and underreported. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of both men and women agree with the mistaken belief that Alzheimer's must run in their family for them to be at risk. When looking at certain ethnic groups, these numbers were even higher. A third of Latinos (33 percent) and almost half of Asians (45 percent) agreed with that incorrect statement.

"Despite being the nation's biggest health threat, Alzheimer's disease is still largely misunderstood. Everyone with a brain - male or female, family history or not - is at risk for Alzheimer's," said Geiger. "Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's, and America is aging. As a nation, we must band together to protect our greatest asset, our brains."

In 2010, the Alzheimer's Association in partnership with Maria Shriver and The Shriver Report conducted a groundbreaking poll with the goal of exploring the compelling connection between Alzheimer's disease and women. Data from that poll were published in The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's, which also included essays and reflections that gave personal perspectives to the poll's numbers. For the first time, that report revealed not only the striking impact of the disease on individual lives, but also its especially strong effects on women - women living with the disease, as well as women who are caregivers, relatives, friends and loved ones of those directly affected.

Realizing the impact Alzheimer's has on women - and the impact women can have when they work together - the Alzheimer's Association is launching a national initiative this spring highlighting the power of women in the fight against this disease. To join the movement, visit www.alz.org/mybrain. To see the original article click here.

For more health news click here. Alzheimers more common in women than men


Advertise with us!

Health Watch

  [ - ] Video Stories Only  [ - ] Text Stories Only  [ + ] Show All

ABC National Health News

Human Trial for Ebola Vaccine to Begin This Week
The first human trial for an investigational Ebola vaccine is set to begin this week.
10 Types of Hunger and How to Control Them
To help you decode what your body and brain are really saying, you've got to learn the difference between the types of hunger—from real to boredom to stress. Here's how.
12 Surprising Things That Mess With Your Memory
Here are some unexpected things that impact your memory in both good and not-so-good ways.
'Ebola Is Real' on Streets of Monrovia
Denial continues to fuel the deadly outbreak in West Africa.
Ebola Outbreak Spreads: Senegal Reports 1st Case
The Ebola outbreak is expected to reach 20,000 in six months.
Ebola Survivor 'Walked Through the Valley of Death'
Dr. Philip Ireland remembers the moment he realized he had Ebola.
Brain-Eating Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water Supply
The rare amoeba can cause a deadly form of meningitis.
US to Test Ebola Vaccine in Humans Amid Growing Outbreak in West Africa
American scientists will begin testing an Ebola vaccine in humans next week, U.S. health officials announced today. But it could take 11 months to learn whether the vaccine is safe as the virus’s toll in West Africa continues to rise.
Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone Tied to Healer's Funeral
By mapping Ebola's deadly genetic details, scientists seek answers to what makes it tick
A Look Inside a Slum Cut Off by the Ebola Outbreak
Quarantined West Point residents are desperate for food amid the Ebola outbreak.
Surgeons Get 'Dress Rehearsals' with 3D-Printed Body Parts
Boston Children's Hospital prints replicas of patients' body parts for practice.
Behind the Gates of an Ebola Ward With a Burial Team
Blue steel gates guard the back entrance to an Ebola treatment center, where new patients flood in faster than bodies are removed. Today, I met a burial team tasked with collecting and burning the bodies – a dangerous but crucial job amid the worst-ever outbreak.
How Nail Polish May Fend Off Sexual Assault
This nail polish changes color on contact with date rape drugs.
Congo Reports First Ebola Cases as Outbreak Continues
Ebola continues to spread and ignite fears with the Democratic Republic of Congo reporting its first cases over the weekend. The Congo is hundreds of miles away from the nearest affected country, but officials there say they suspect they've had more than a dozen Ebola deaths. At last count on Friday, the virus had killed at least 1,427 people and sickened 1,188 more – numbers thought to “vastly underestimate� the outbreak’s true toll, according to the World Health Organization, which is expected to release updated case counts soon.
Troubled College Football Player Had CTE
Ex-Missouri State player Michael Keck, who died at 25, diagnosed with CTE.
Ebola Outbreak: Dr. Besser's Look at Life Inside the Hot Zone
Dr. Richard Besser reports on the growing outbreak from Monrovia, Liberia.
Watch: Inside the Triage Unit Where Patients Find Out If They Have Ebola
ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser gets a behind-the-scenes look at Ebola crisis at JFK Medical Center in Liberia.
5 Weird Ways Stress Can Actually Be Good for You
Here, then, are five reasons you should rest easier when it comes to everyday stress—and how a little short-term anxiety can actually benefit your brain and body.
7 Ways Debt Is Bad for Your Health
Regardless of who you are—or why you owe money—science suggests that being in debt could be affecting your physical and mental health. Here are just some of the reasons to get back in the black.
10 Weight Loss Mistakes Most Women Make
Dropping pounds boils down to a simple-sounding formula: burn more calories than you take in; eat less and move more. But anybody who has ever cut calories and ramped up an exercise plan in an effort to slim down knows it's a lot harder than it sounds. All dieters inevitably make mistakes along the way—and most of the time they don't even realize it. Here are the 10 flubs that everyone makes when they're trying to shed fat.
9 Worst Eye Care Mistakes You're Making
Here’s what not to do to make sure your vision stays healthy well into your golden years.
 

Enrollment for healthcare exchanges as part of healthcare reform begins October 1 in states where exchanges will be set up. Expect special reports each week from us about what you need to know about 'Obamacare' and the ongoing political fight about its future.

To Learn More About Health Care Reform, Click Here

Navigation

Sacred Heart Health System - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cardiology - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cancer Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Orthopedics - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vein Institute - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
The Endoscopy Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vascular & Interventional - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Stand Up Open MRI - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Advertise with us!

Tonight on ABC 3

06:30PM Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
07:00PM Extreme Weight Loss
09:00PM Celebrity Wife Swap
10:00PM Channel 3 News

Complete ABC 3 Schedule