Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Alzheimer's Strikes Women Harder Than Men: Report

And those over 60 twice as likely to get the brain disease than breast cancer

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A 65-year-old American woman has a 1 in 6 chance of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life, while a man the same age has about a 1 in 11 chance.

That's one of the key findings of a new report that highlights the heavy toll that Alzheimer's takes on women as both patients and caregivers.

Women in their 60s are also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's than breast cancer, according to the report -- "2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures" -- from the Alzheimer's Association.

The report also found that there are 2.5 times more women than men providing 24-hour care for a loved one with Alzheimer's. Women caregivers are also more likely than men to switch from full-time to part-time work (20 percent versus 3 percent), more likely to take a leave of absence (18 percent versus 11 percent), and to stop working (11 percent versus 5 percent) to meet the needs of a loved one with the disease.

"Women are the epicenter of Alzheimer's disease, representing [the] majority of both people with the disease and Alzheimer's caregivers," Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer of the Alzheimer's Association, said in a prepared statement from the group.

Of the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer's, 3.2 million are women, according to the report.

The total health care cost of Alzheimer's and other dementias is expected to hit $214 billion this year in the United States. The charge to Medicare and Medicaid will be $150 billion, and Medicare will spend nearly $1 in every $5 on patients with Alzheimer's or other dementias, the report said.

That $214 billion figure doesn't include the unpaid caregiving provided by family and friends, which is valued at more than $220 billion, according to the report. Currently, 15.5 million caregivers provide 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care and many suffer their own health problems as a result.

The physical and emotional demands of providing care led to about $9.3 billion in increased health care costs for Alzheimer's caregivers in 2013, the report said.

Today on WebMD

Remember your finger
When it’s more than just forgetfulness.
senior man with serious expression
Which kinds are treatable?
senior man
Common symptoms to look for.
mri scan of human brain
Can drinking red wine reverse the disease?
eating blueberries
Colored mri of brain
Close up of elderly couple holding hands
mature woman
Woman comforting ailing mother
Senior woman with serious expression