Social Inequalities Found in US Counties With Highest Alzheimer’s Rates Among Blacks, Latinos

Social Inequalities Found in US Counties With Highest Alzheimer’s Rates Among Blacks, Latinos
A recent report found deep social inequalities in U.S. counties with the highest Alzheimer's rates among Blacks and Latinos. Inequalities related to education, income, food insecurity, and the physical environment are collectively known as social determinants of health and are inextricably tied to location, according to the report from UsAgainstAlzheimer's Center for Brain Health Equity and the Urban Institute, which compared counties with the highest Alzheimer's rates among Blacks, Latinos, and non-Latino Whites to counties with the lowest rates among these populations. Adopting a "place-based" approach to public health can decrease these risks by tailoring policies and targeting resources to where they will do the most good, the report's authors said a recent webinar discussing their findings. Understanding how location impacts Alzheimer's is critical given the disorder's growing burden on families, healthcare systems, and the economy. About 5.8 million people in the U.S. are currently living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. The authors' previous research had projected that by 2030, an estimated 40% of the eight million Americans with Alzheimer's or related dementias will be Latino or Black. Counties with the highest Alzheimer's rates in the report tended to have higher levels of poverty and less in terms of household income, access to exercise opportunities, and education compared to counties with the lowest rates. "Median household incomes among Blacks are about 50% higher in those counties with the lowest prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and just a little bit less so ... for Latinos, whereas the difference for non-Latino Whites is much smaller," said Stipica Mudrazija, PhD, senior research associate at the Urban Institute and the report's l
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