Older African American woman

African Americans have much higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease.

Would you be surprised to learn that Alzheimer’s is the fourth leading cause of death for African Americans?

Alzheimer’s is often referred to as a “Silent Epidemic” among African Americans. This is due in part to an unwillingness to acknowledge and discuss the disease. This leads to delayed medical care. Additionally, it may cause caregiver burnout of family members. 

While this may be true, what else could account for such a disparate impact? According to research, there are a number of risk factors that may hold clues. For the purpose of this conversation, I talk to my past guest, Christopher Howard.

Christopher has completed his neuropsychology studies, He focused on the African American community. We discussed what could be some causes of higher cases of Alzheimer’s in blacks. With attention to various issues in different communities, we focused on what affects most of this population.

Why Alzheimer’s is more common in African-Americans remains unclear. Some researchers attribute both societal and systemic factors. Inequities in education, income, and health care access play a factor. Stress, diet, lifestyle, and genetics may also contribute. However, there’s a less-explored question in African Americans and Alzheimer’s. Is the underlying biology of the disease somehow different in blacks and non-Hispanic whites?

Genetics may a contributing factor in racial disparities. In the general population, inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease account for less than 5 percent of all cases. Learning all we can allow us to help the entire caregiving community.

You’ll enjoy this lively conversation on this topic. It’s interesting to get different perspectives. Christopher is fun and knowledgable making this conversation insightful.

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