Study: Women much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than men

Women age 60 and older have a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer's disease in their lifetime, and are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's compared with breast cancer, according to a report from the Alzheimer's Association. (Photo: CNN)

Women age 60 and older have a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer's disease in their lifetime, and are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's compared with breast cancer, according to a report from the Alzheimer's Association. (Photo: CNN)

DENVER — New data from the Alzheimer’s Association has revealed some sobering information for women.

According to a new study, women are much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than men, and women over 60 are twice as likely to battle Alzheimer’s than breast cancer.

The Alzheimer’s Association hopes the data helps demonstrate the need for greater awareness and increased research into a disease that is only expected to grow as baby boomers age.

Nobody needs to tell Kathleen McBride about the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s.

“I feel like it just struck in the middle of my life,” Kathleen said.

On Wednesday evening, Kathleen spoke to a room full of volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association, to describe her battle with the disease.

“First it was the recall,” Kathleen said.

Kathleen was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s around the age of 60. Three years later she has good days and bad days, but she says they’re all difficult.

“I want to wear a badge or something, (saying) I used to be a smart person,” McBride said. “I was a professional woman. Right now I’m probably the equivalent of my six-year-old granddaughter, you know, we have great conversations.”

Difficult as it may be, Kathleen keeps the conversation going because she knows she’s not alone. A new survey by the Alzheimer’s Association found that one in six women over 60 will develop the disease, compared to 1 in 11 men.

Women do live longer, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association age isn’t the only explanation for the discrepancy.

“Those statistics were alarming,” said Sara Spaulding, spokesperson for the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Alzheimer’s Association now hopes to sound the alarm. It’s nearly impossible to miss the many campaigns to fight breast cancer, yet women over 60 are twice as likely to die from Alzheimer’s.

“For women to become that voice, that strong power behind making change. We’ve been known to do it before and now is the time to do it for Alzheimer’s,” Spaulding said.

Kathleen is already lending her voice for as long as she can.

“It’s tragic,” McBride said. “I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”