Alzheimer's Disease Almost Twice as Common in Women Than in Men

July 26, 2022


Women comprise almost two-thirds of the 6.2 million Americans 65 or older who have Alzheimer's disease. This means Alzheimer's disease is almost twice as common in women compared to men.

According to Ernestine A. Wright, M.D., FACP, a primary care doctor and geriatrics specialist with Mercy Personal Physicians Downtown in Baltimore, one reason for the difference is that women generally live longer than men.

"Women have tend to have a stronger immune system than men, and one thing we see in Alzheimer's disease, amyloid plaques are usually formed as the brain tries to fight off infection because of a strong immune system," Dr. Wright said. "We think that because women have strong immune systems, they have a greater tendency of developing autoimmune disorders, form more amyloid plaques over time, and develop Alzheimer's disease at a greater rate than men do."

Dr. Wright added that it is important to keep the brain healthy by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day five days a week, eating healthy and getting enough sleep to rest brain cells.

View Dr. Wright's interview regarding women and Alzheimer's Disease.

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

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