why are women at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease than men? According to estimation, in Australia, the disease accounted for almost two-thirds of deaths in women, while in the US, two-thirds of women are living with the disease.
Alzheimer’s is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of death among women over 60. The condition has taken the lead position of causing death for women in England and Wales as well as in Australia.
“As women are more confronted by the disease, we need to investigate the differences between the male and female specifics of it,” suggests Antonella Santuccione-Chadha, a physician and Alzheimer’s specialist based in Switzerland.
Health experts claim that 75 million people in the world will live with dementia by 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050.
Researchers have found other risk factors that affect women more than men. The factors including depressed mood, surgical menopause, and pregnancy complications have been associated with cognitive decline in later life in women.
Some research has also shown that social roles like caregiving can develop dementia. Annemarie Schumacher, a health psychologist says in the UK, some 60-70% of all unpaid women caregivers found with dementia.
“The most obvious differences that come out of the literature are in the display and progression of cognitive and psychiatric symptoms between men and women with Alzheimer’s disease. Based on these new studies we can design new hypotheses and figure out new ways to improve treatment of patients,” says Maria Teresa Ferretti, a biomedical researcher in the field of Alzheimer’s disease at the University of Zurich.