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How do my age and gender affect my risk of Alzheimer's disease?

Advancing age remains the main risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease, and recent studies confirm that women are more likely than men to develop Alzheimer's disease dementia. A woman's lifetime risk of Alzheimer's disease is almost twice that of a man. In fact, two-thirds of the 5.3 million people currently suffering from Alzheimer's disease are women. In women at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease, subjective memory complaints are very common in the perimenopausal years before they develop Alzheimer's disease, and memory function steeply declines after menopause.
Your age alone poses some risk. Yet while risk usually rises after age 65 and continues to increase as you get older, Alzheimer's disease is not an inevitable consequence of aging.

If you look at numbers only, women appear to have a higher rate of Alzheimer's disease than men do. Almost two-thirds of Americans who have Alzheimer's disease are female. Women who live to age 65 have a one-in-five chance of developing Alzheimer's disease in their remaining lifetime. For men, the risk is one in 10. However, experts believe this difference reflects women's greater longevity.

Of the 5.2 million people over age 65 with Alzheimer's in the United States, 3.4 million are women and 1.8 million are men.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.