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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

Alzheimer’s now the biggest killer of women
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Alzheimer’s now the biggest killer of women image

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have replaced heart problems as the major killer in the UK—at least for women. A similar pattern has been seen in the US, too, where the rate of coronary heart disease has fallen by 20 per cent since the 1980s.

Heart disease is still the major killer for UK men, according to figures for 2015, but cancer is more deadly even than heart disease if deaths from all types of cancer are taken into account. Breast cancer was the biggest killer of women aged between 35 and 49.

In 2015, 41,283 women in the UK died from Alzheimer’s and dementia, accounting for 15 per cent of all female deaths, says the Office for National Statistics. By comparison, the disease was responsible for just half that total among men.

Heart disease also seems to be less deadly in the US. The rate has fallen by around 20 per cent between 1983 and 2011, say researchers from Duke University Medical Center. They tracked the health of two groups of people aged 40 to 79 for 12 years. Although the rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) declined, they saw an increase in the rate of diabetes


References

(Source: BBC website, 14 November, 2016; Journal of the American Medical Association, 2016; 316: 2041)

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