DENVER (CBS4) – Disturbing news was released Wednesday about women and Alzheimer’s disease. The new report shows women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s in their lifetime as they are breast cancer.
Alzheimer’s affects more than five million Americans and 2/3rds of them are women. Not only do more women develop the disease, more women are likely to be caregivers.
Christine Warner, 95, likes to play cards but she usually needs a refresher on the rules. She moved into the Someren Glen Retirement Community seven months ago and has Alzheimer’s disease.
“I’ve been forgetting for several years,” Warner said.
She’s not alone. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 facts and figures, women have a one-in-six chance of developing Alzheimer’s in their lifetime. Risk for men is one in 11.
Women are also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared with breast cancer.
“Women live longer than men on average and age and advancing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” Linda Mitchell with Alzheimer’s Association Colorado said.
They’re also looking at the genetic and hormonal differences in women.
Women also bear the bulk of the burden when it comes to providing care. Warner’s granddaughter, Brenda Chedid, has shared caregiver duties with her mother, Warner’s daughter.
“It was just a lot of stress, it was a lot of work for my mom,” Chedid said.
The latest numbers show 60 percent of caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s are women.
Chedid worries about the future and the possibility of her mother developing Alzheimer’s, and even herself.
As baby boomers age Alzheimer’s numbers are set to soar. There could be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s in the year 2050.