Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s cases in the United States are in women.
Researchers used to think that more women got Alzheimer’s because they lived longer. But now, studies are showing there may be other factors at play. By age 65, one in five women will develop Alzheimer’s.
One study found menopause, which reduces estrogen levels in a women’s body, may be the reason more women are affected than men.
Scientists scanned the brains of women and men and found declines in estrogen were involved in Alzheimer’s abnormalities. Another brain scan showed women metabolized sugar better, which may help them compensate for dementia damage better, causing a delayed diagnosis. In the future, earlier diagnosis may mean better treatment and outcomes.
Researchers at the University of Miami recently analyzed genes in 30,000 people. Half had Alzheimer’s in their genetics, and the half did not. They found four genes seem to be related to the disease by sex. Specifically, one of the genes was linked to Alzheimer’s risk in women and three were linked to risk in men.