Why Are African Americans Disproportionately Burdened by Alzheimer’s Disease Than Any Other Group?

The National Institute on Aging defines Alzheimer’s disease as “an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.” The Alzheimer’s Association shares that 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s as someone develops the disease every 65 seconds.

The Alzheimer’s Association also identified Alzheimer’s disease as an emerging public health crisis among African Americans, calling it a silent epidemic. A startling report is revealing the results of research that shows that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease ranges from 14% to almost 100% higher in African Americans than Whites and that there may be strong genetic and environmental risks as well.

Bright Focus Foundation explains that the disparity of Alzheimer’s disease cases between African Americans and Whites is due to “the presence of one or more medical conditions that coexist in addition to Alzheimer’s disease; environmental factors; and genetic factors.” The problem is that access to early diagnostic assessment and preventative care tend to be less accessible in poorer African American communities.

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Source: https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/article/burden-alzheimers-disease-african-americans