Alzheimer’s and Men: What the Research Says

Alzheimer’s Disease and Men

Two-thirds of the more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women, prompting even the National Institutes of Health to call the disease a “women’s health issue.” Stats like these may leave men believing they’re less at risk of developing Alzheimer’s. But when you dig deeper into the data, you see that the headlines tell only half the story.

In honor of Men’s Health Month, we’ve compiled some important facts about men and Alzheimer’s, plus tips on what men can do to reduce their Alzheimer’s risk.

Understanding Men’s Risk Factors

An estimated 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, around 4 million are women and 2.5 million are men.

According to The Alzheimer’s Association, the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer’s disease on women is attributed to both age and biological factors. Genetics also play a role. Some research even suggests societal and cultural factors contribute to the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in women, including education, occupation, and reproductive history.

Still, men are more likely to engage in behaviors that could increase their chance of developing the disease, including smoking and drinking.

  • Smoking

Compared to women, men are more likely to smoke cigarettes. Smoking increases the risk of vascular issues like strokes and bleeding in the brain, both of which are risk factors for dementia. One study suggested that as many as 14% of Alzheimer’s cases worldwide could be potentially linked to cigarettes. Other studies indicate the chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause inflammation and increased oxidative stress, which have both been thought to increase one’s Alzheimer’s risk.

  • Binge Drinking

Men are almost twice as likely as women to binge drink. Nearly a quarter of men say they binge drink (defined as consuming five or more drinks at once) five times per month, downing, on average, eight drinks per session. Binge drinking has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Heavy drinking can also lead to brain damage, which may increase your risk of developing dementia.

Men and Alzheimer’s: More Risk Factors

Men are also more likely than women to experience the following health conditions, which may increase their Alzheimer’s risk:

  • Early Onset Heart Disease

The heart is responsible for pumping nourishment-rich blood to the brain. Damage to this important organ has been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in both sexes. And men generally develop heart disease at a younger age than women.

  • men and alzheimers risk 800px

    Head Injuries

Over the course of their lifetime, men are more likely than women to experience a traumatic brain injury. Severe head trauma has been linked to increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, especially among older adults. Even repetitive mild injuries have been linked to the development of cognitive issues later in life.

Alzheimer’s and Men: Reducing Your Risk

This Men’s Health Month, consider engaging in the following healthy habits, all of which may help decrease your Alzheimer’s risk:

  • Quit smoking. There is evidence that shows giving up cigarettes reduces your Alzheimer’s risk to the same level as a non-smoker’s.
  • Protect your heart. Work with your doctor to develop an exercise routine that will help keep your heart and vascular system strong. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Protect your head. Reduce your risk of head trauma by always wearing your seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and fall-proofing your home.
  • Stay engaged and connected. Maintaining strong social connections and staying mentally active have been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline as we age.

Senior living communities in Florida offer programs and activities designed for staying active and engaged. Along with healthy dining options, fitness classes and social opportunities, active senior living is an excellent choice for men’s health.

Serenades at West Orange

720 Roper Rd.

Winter Garden, FL 34787

Phone: 407-654-3530


Serenades at West Orange

720 Roper Rd.

Winter Garden, FL 34787

Phone: 407-654-3530

In 15 Years of Making a Difference, Here’s 15 Differences We’ve Made for Seniors.

For more information on Sonata’s senior living communities, call a community near you today to schedule a visit →

A Practical Guide For Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors

Few people thrust into the role of caregiver have received any formal training on the confusing symptoms that can attend the onset of memory loss. Relying on experts in the field, our guide is a short yet comprehensive primer in managing behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.