Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and is the only cause of death in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.
While there are many theories as to the cause of Alzheimer’s, there is only one thing researches can agree on at this point in time: Alzheimer’s is a woman’s disease, with more than two-thirds of all diagnosed being women.
Why the gender discrepancy?
The simplest reason points to the fact that women live longer than men, and therefore are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in their lifetimes. It’s simply a mortality difference.
Beyond that, research has also shown that hormonal differences might also play a role. There has been a lot of research in determining the impact of estrogen on dementia, and how varying the levels can impact symptoms. One study found that hormone replacement therapy can increase dementia risk, while another study found high or low levels of a thyroid hormone are associated with an increased risk factor of Alzheimer’s in women.
Still another study found that women with depression were twice as likely to suffer from dementia, and women that are unable to live without assistance are up to three times more likely to develop dementia in their lifetimes.
The other side of Alzheimer’s can also add into the problem. [Read more…]