June 28, 2023

A Call to Action for Women Living with Alzheimer’s, Informed by Data Dashboard 

While studies have shown that sex differences in brain anatomy and function contribute to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in females, there is still much that is unknown about the health outcomes of women at risk for, living with, or caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

To offer solutions and bring attention to Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in June, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) has released a resource spotlighting areas that could eliminate gaps in delays in Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses for women, improve the inclusion of women in clinical trials, reduce the disproportionate burden of caregiving, and more. These areas and SWHR’s recommendations are published in a new call to action: Advancing Care for Women with Alzheimer’s Disease.  

This Alzheimer’s call to action is informed by data from the 2022 SWHR Women’s Health Dashboard, which serves as a resource and centralized platform for stakeholders in the women’s health space to explore the latest national and state data on health conditions and diseases that have significant impacts on women’s health. The dashboard currently focuses on five conditions: Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depressive disorders, ischemic heart disease. This Alzheimer’s call to action is the first in a series of documents that will look at gaps in these areas and recommend research, education, and policy solutions. 

This call to action is the latest resource from SWHR demonstrating the Society’s ongoing commitment to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease disparities in women and builds upon a suite of other Alzheimer’s and healthy aging resources. SWHR began dedicated work in the Alzheimer’s space over a decade ago, when the Society hosted a roundtable in October 2011 to discuss the state of sex and gender differences research in Alzheimer’s disease (a summary of the meeting was published in the Journal of Women’s Health). The meeting also laid the groundwork for future roundtables and the establishment of the SWHR Interdisciplinary Network on Alzheimer’s in 2016, which later became the SWHR Alzheimer’s Working Group. More recently, SWHR has published several resources on the topic, including but not limited to:  

Over the years, SWHR has also formed invaluable partnerships with other leaders in the Alzheimer’s and healthy aging space, including the Alliance for Aging Research, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, The Balm in Gilead, Barrow Neurological Institute, Caregiver Action Network, National Minority Quality Forum, Inc., UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, and others. SWHR’s ongoing Alzheimer’s programming would not be possible without support from these partners.  

SWHR is proud to build on its decades of work in Alzheimer’s disease and intends to continue to track and update data in the Alzheimer’s section of the dashboard. If you have additional questions about this work, please reach out to science@swhr.org.