by Dr. Kaycee Sink for Everyday Health
Q: Is it true that women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than men? Why? I’m a 38-year-old woman with no significant health problems. Am I at risk just because I’m a woman?
A: It is generally accepted that women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than men, but we don’t know why. It may simply be that women live longer than men (and age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease), or that there are reasons related to the decline in hormones women experience as they age (though estrogen replacement has been found to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, not decrease it), or that there are genetic factors (a recent genetic study has discovered a gene on the X chromosome that may increase risk of Alzheimer’s), or that there is some reason we have not yet considered.
Since you cannot change your biological sex, your best bet at preventing Alzheimer’s is to stay healthy and active, both in mind and body.