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

Warm Water Sparks Flesh-Eating Disease Warning in Florida
Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes and cause flesh-eating disease.
Why 6 Seconds of Exercise Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes
When it comes to exercise, even a little can go a long way.
Doctors Battling Ebola Are Met With Fear, Mistrust
Doctors Struggle To Contain Ebola Outbreak
Top Sierra Leone Doctor Dies of Ebola
Dr. Shek Umar contracted the virus while helping others.
Ebola, Spreading in Africa, Could Land in US
An Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could land in the U.S., health officials said.
Fist Bumps Less Germy Than Handshakes, Study Says
Maybe athletes and President Obama are on to something.
What We Don’t Know About Lethal Injection Drugs
Drug doses and suppliers are sometimes kept secret, experts say.
Fear of Flying Amplified by Flurry of Air Disasters
Experts say flying can be 'perfect storm' for phobias.
Cards, and Love, Keep Pouring In for Little Boy Battling Cancer
Over 15,000 cards have been mailed to Danny Nickerson, the five-year-old battling cancer who is turning six tomorrow.
Report Raises Safety Questions on Popular Blood Thinner
Pradaxa has been linked to bleeding complications.
'Hero' Doctor Battling Ebola Spotlights Selflessness During Outbreak
The news that a doctor leading the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone has contracted the infection spotlights the selfless work of health care workers on the front lines of the outbreak.
Why It was Easier to Sleep in the Stone Age
You might sleep better on a “Stone Age� settlement, researchers say.
5 Things That Make You a Mosquito Magnet
You might want to rethink that backyard beer.
Baby Who Can't Open Mouth Celebrates First Birthday
Baby Wyatt still can't open his mouth despite WhatsWrongWithWyatt.com responses.
Sierra Leone Doctor Fighting Ebola Catches Disease
Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan has been called a national hero.
How 'NY Med' Neurosurgeon Prepares Patients for 'New Me'
By Philip Stieg, PhD, MD As chief of neurosurgery at a major teaching hospital, I am used to being observed — I always have students and residents watching me. Teaching is something I love to do, and nothing is more rewarding than mentoring the next...
Which Diet Gives the Best Bang for Your Buck?
A new study reveals how to lose more weight for less cash.
Cancer Lessons I Learned From a Fictional Teenage Boy
That love scene from "The Fault in Our Stars" is so intense.
How Hotter Summers Are Putting Swimmers at Risk
As families flock to pools and lakes to cool off, experts are warning about a risky consequence of climate change: waterborne disease.
Watch: American Doctor Undergoing Treatment After Testing Positive for Ebola
Dr. Kent Brantly came into contact with the deadly virus while treating Ebola patients in Liberia.
Watch: Sierra Leone's Chief Ebola Doctor Catches the Virus
The latest victim in the fight against the deadly virus in West Africa is the man leading the fight.
11 Foods That Make You Hungrier
Feeling hungry? You should eat. But what if the foods you're eating actually make you hungrier than you were before you dug in? It's a more common conundrum than you might think.
8 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Right Now
From adding an extra ingredient to your smoothie to watching a funny YouTube video, you can fan your metabolism's flames in just minutes a day by adopting these research-backed habits.
14 Ways to Fight Hair Loss
Just because thinning is natural doesn't mean you have to accept it.
7 Subtle Signs You’re Drinking Too Much
How can you tell if you’re developing a problem? Not all the clues are the same for all people, but here are common signs you could be headed for trouble—and how to turn it around.
 

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