A new study finds that women are more likely than men to be affected by Alzheimer's disease—both as patients and as caregivers. Three out of five people living with Alzheimer's are women, and women over age 65 have a one-in-six chance of getting the disease—compared to one-in-11 for men, NBC News reports. And when it comes to caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's, the number of female caregivers is more than double that of male caregivers.
The Alzheimer's Association finds that 20% of female caregivers drop from full-time to part-time work, compared to just 3% of male caregivers; 18% of women have taken a leave of absence to take care of someone with Alzheimer's, compared to 11% of men; and 11% of women have actually quit their jobs, compared to 5% of men. "Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer's disease today," says the VP of the advocacy group. It's not clear why more women develop Alzheimer's; the fact that they tend to live longer than men is one factor, but the group also is looking at genetic and hormonal differences, CNN reports.