The prevalence of Alzheimer disease is higher in women than in men. In the age group 65-69 years 0.7% of women and 0.6% of men suffer from the disease with increasing frequencies of 14.2% and 8.8% in individuals aged 85-89 years. The incidence is also higher in demented women. In Austria 74.1% of Alzheimer patients older than 60 years are women. Several studies report more pronounced language, mnestic, semantic and orientation deficits in women, but methodological shortcomings might be responsible for this finding. The validity of results reporting a more rapid cognitive decline in women can also be questioned. Women have a broader spectrum of dementiarelated behavioural symptoms with a predominance of depression, while aggression is more frequent in men than in women. Biological explanations for gender-specific differences in the phenotype of Alzheimer s disease include different brain morphology and function with higher susceptibility for pathological lesions in women and greater cognitive reserve in men. Sex differences were also reported for expression of antioxidative enzymes and post-menopausal hormonal changes. Interactions between gender nd response to treatment, if any, are subtle and have large intra-individual variability. In Austria, two thirds of patients receiving attendance allowance are women. Care takes place in 80% by the families and is provided by women in 78%. The rate of female care-givers in partly institutionalized care units in 91% in nursing homes it is 84%.
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Aged, 80 and over
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