According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and every 67 seconds, someone in the country gets Alzheimer’s. If you have elderly parents, you may be wondering how likely it is that your loved one will be diagnosed. While researchers don’t have exact answers, various factors such as genetics, environment, lifestyle and gender can give you some idea. The sooner you get started with Alzheimers care, the better.
The Alzheimer’s Association explains that a woman who is in her 60s has a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer’s. About two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are female.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s, which accounts for less than 5 percent of people with Alzheimer’s, is found in people ages 30 to 60. It is largely caused by genetics, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Late-onset Alzheimer’s develops after age 60, and the apolipoprotein E gene has been linked to the disease. However, people with the gene don’t always develop Alzheimer’s, and Alzheimer’s occurs in people who lack the gene. Some other genes have also been linked to Alzheimer’s.
Environment and Lifestyle
Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and other health issues may be connected to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Eating well and staying mentally and socially sharp have been shown to reduce a person’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
If you suspect your parent or loved one has Alzheimer’s, seek help immediately. Early detection helps relieve some symptoms and may lead to your loved one staying independent somewhat longer. Early detection also boosts the chances your loved one will qualify for a clinical trial. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s care is draining—emotionally, physically and financially. Being proactive helps reduce the burden.