Chris Hemsworth’s odds of acquiring Alzheimer’s are high

Chris Hemsworth was making a TV series about resisting the effects of time and age, and received some health information that made him confront his own mortality: The “Thor” actor has eight to 10 times that risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Hemsworth underwent a series of genetic tests as part of his new National Geographic show, Borderless With Chris Hemsworth. The idea was that he would see the results live on camera and discuss what they mean and what he could do to make the most of his genetic roadmap.

That plan changed when the series’ longevity doctor saw the actor’s results. Calling showrunner Darren Aronofsky, the doctor told Hemsworth to Vanity Fair, telling him, “I don’t want to give it away [Hemsworth] this in front of the camera. We need to have an off-side conversation and see if he even wants that to be on the show. It was quite shocking because he called me and told me.”

What Hemsworth learned on that call was that he had two copies of a gene, APOE4, inherited from both his father and mother. While a quarter of people have a copy, only 2% to 3% have it from both parents, according to the magazine. Hemsworth’s maternal grandfather has Alzheimer’s.

“I had a few questions but no one answered them,” he said. “I wish I had had a more intensive follow-up because I didn’t really know what to think. I thought, ‘Do I need to worry? Is that a concern?’” His parents found out right after him, and they had questions, too.

But the 39-year-old Australian said learning about his increased risk of Alzheimer’s has allowed him to “put together the kind of tools to best prepare myself and prevent things like this from happening,” and he’s grateful for that.

He immediately wraps up the things he’s contractually obligated to do and then plans to take some time off.

“Doing an episode about death and confronting your own mortality made me go, ‘Oh god, I’m not ready to go yet,'” he told Vanity Fair. “I want to sit and be in this room with a greater sense of stillness and gratitude.” He also recognized that his children — daughter India Rose, 10, and twin sons Sasha and Tristan, 8 — won’t be kids forever.

“It really triggered something in me that I wanted to take some time off. …. Now when I finish this tour this week I’m going home and I’m going to have a good time off and just simplify,” he said. “Be with the kids, be with my wife.”

Regarding his risk of Alzheimer’s, Hemsworth stressed that while his DNA gives a “strong clue” about what might happen, it is not predetermined.

“It was confrontational at first, but very quickly it turned into a kind of self-deprecating joke, if you will,” he said. “It’s just the way I am, my family, there’s a sense of humor.

“And that’s life.” Chris Hemsworth’s odds of acquiring Alzheimer’s are high

Sarah Ridley

Sarah Ridley is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Sarah Ridley joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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