Women and Dementia and What Can be Done to Prevent this Disease - 24|7 Nursing Care

Women and Dementia and What Can be Done to Prevent this Disease

Of the estimated 5.5 million people living with dementia in the U.S., 3.4 million of them are women. At age 65, women have a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer’s, while men only have a one in 11 chance. In fact, in a scary statistic affecting women and dementia, women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than breast cancer according to Alzheimers.net.

While these are alarming statistics to consider, especially for women, there are some things that women can do in order to slow the progression or prevent the onset of dementia according to some studies.

Risk Factors Affecting Women

Age is the number one risk factor for forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease, which is a disease that can develop 20 years before it is even diagnosed. In general, women are out-living men, which could be one of the reasons why we see more cases of dementia in women.

However, this isn’t the only reason that women may be developing more cases of dementia. Women who carry the gene Apo E-4 are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s, and this may be due to the gene’s interaction with estrogen. Additionally, many cases of dementia are linked to heart health, and both conditions carry many of the same risk factors. Because men are at a greater risk for heart disease and often fall ill in middle age due to heart issues, those men who do live past middle age may have stronger hearts that can withstand disease and therefore don’t carry many of heart disease risk factors, which can help lower their risk for dementia.

Women and Dementia Prevention

There have been many studies on ways that dementia can be prevented, but it seems that maintaining an active body and mind is a good way that people can work towards keeping their brains healthy and preventing dementia.

A University of Gothenburg study conducted in 2018 concluded that highly fit women had nearly a 90% less chance of getting dementia decades later. The study quoted in All4Women online stated that women with high levels of mental activities were 46% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s when they engaged in these mental activities between the ages of 38-54. Women who were physically active were 52% less likely to develop dementia with cerebrovascular disease and 56% less likely to develop mixed dementia than women who were inactive through middle age.

It’s important to note that there was no relationship between physical activity and Alzheimer’s Disease and that the activities in this 44 year-long study were self-reported at the beginning of the study.

Keeping Mind & Body Healthy

Physical and mental activity doesn’t always have to be strenuous. Even light needlework or frequent walks or gardening can count toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To increase your intensity, try picking up a new exercise program or leaning a new hobby or instrument. It’s never too late to challenge your body and mind and keep them healthy for the future.

As with the prevention of many diseases, it’s important that women and men take their physical and mental health very seriously. By not smoking and eating a proper diet, you can help increase life expectancy, but also prevent many types of diseases. When it comes to keeping your mind healthy and strong, also consider talking to your doctor about ways that you can improve your own personal health.

In the event that you or someone you know needs part-time or even full-time care due to a disease such as dementia, contact our offices. We can place qualified caregivers into your home to provide you with peace-of-mind and the comfort that comes along with staying in the environment you love. We can be reached at 855-Nurse44.



What to do in middle age to lower your dementia risk. (2019, February 28). Retrieved from https://www.all4women.co.za/1698415/health/healthy-mind/what-to-do-in-middle-

Why Is Alzheimer’s More Likely in Women? (2018, July 31). Retrieved from https://www.alzheimers.net/8-12-15-why-is-alzheimers-more-likely-in-women/

George, J. (2019, February 20). Midlife Activities Linked to Alzheimer’s, Dementia. Retrieved from https://www.medpagetoday.com/neurology/dementia/78131