Socioeconomic factors to blame for African Americans’ high prevalence of Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2013 Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures report explains that older African Americans are probably about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s and other dementias as older Caucasians. A new study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston says socioeconomic disparities account for the high Alzheimer’s prevalence in African Americans.

The study at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center surveyed about 3,000 black and white elderly people over a 12 year period. Though the black participants seemed to show more of a propensity to develop dementia, the researchers found the difference was not statistically significant after adjusting for patients’ income levels.

Dr. Kristine Yaffe, who led the study, said in a statement that the findings suggest researchers should better control for socioeconomic factors in future studies about demographics of aging populations.

These findings come on the tail of other recent research showing no genetic differences explaining the disease’s racial disparity.

Read the full story at The Boston Globe

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