Why are women more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease?

One reason that there are more women with Alzheimer’s disease than men is simply that there are more older women than older men living in our society.

(Andrew E. Budson/ Harvard Health) — Did you know that of the 6.2 million people with Alzheimer’s disease who are age 65 or older in this country, almost two-thirds are women? This means that Alzheimer’s disease is almost twice as common in women compared to men. Why is Alzheimer’s disease more common in women?

The first and most important reason is that women tend to live longer than men. If you look at actuarial life tables, you can see that a baby girl born in 2019 is likely to live five years longer than a baby boy: 81 versus 76 years.

The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is age: the older you are, the more likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s disease. For example, out of 1,000 people, the incidence (the number who develop Alzheimer’s each year) depends on age: (…)