Is Dementia More Common in Males or Females?
January 10, 2023
Roughly 5.5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia, and roughly two-thirds of those are women. Various genetic and lifestyle factors influence when and why men and women develop dementia.
Women and Alzheimer’s Disease
Women are more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than any other type of dementia. It’s the fifth leading cause of death for women and is often diagnosed in later stages.
Dementia risk factors for women:
A higher rate of depression: Women are twice as likely to experience depression than men, and there is a direct correlation between depression and dementia development.
Changes in estrogen: This sex hormone protects brain cells and helps develop the hippocampus in the womb. That area of the brain is responsible for storing new memories. Estrogen drops after menopause, increasing the risk of dementia.
A genetic mutation: Apolipoprotein E 4 is a mutated gene associated with Alzheimer’s. Women may face cognitive impairment if they carry the mutation.
A lack of exercise: Fitness is essential to cognitive health. Women who exercised consistently were less likely to develop dementia than those who didn’t.
Men and Vascular and Lewy Body Dementia
Vascular dementia: This type of dementia occurs when a blockage prevents blood from flowing to the brain. Men tend to develop vascular dementia and get diagnosed sooner than women. Vascular dementia in men is most common because they identify with more risk factors associated with it. High blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and tobacco use.
Lewy body dementia: A buildup of proteins in the brain’s nerve cells causes Lewy body dementia. Men are four times more likely to get diagnosed than women.
Signs of Dementia in Men & Women
Common dementia symptoms include:
- Short-term memory problems
- Asking repetitive questions
- Trouble making plans and following directions
- Problems completing daily tasks, like chores and driving
- Poor financial decisions
- Confusion with times, dates and places
- Poor spatial awareness
- Issues with speaking and writing
Dementia in men may present as the following symptoms:
- Apathy or disinterest in activities
- Mental confusion
- Aggressive behavior
- Sexually inappropriate behavior
Dementia in women may present as:
- Verbal aggression
- Random mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor time management
Memory Care Facilities in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
Our Empower Memory Care program is designed with your loved one in mind. Our dedicated memory care staff works with you and your loved one to create a personalized care plan that addresses your parent’s unique needs.
Memory care at Embassy includes protocols and programs to keep your loved one safe, comfortable and engaged. The staff is specially trained to work with people with dementia to provide therapy options, enrichment and activities to keep your mom or dad physically and mentally stimulated.
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