According to the Alzheimer’s Association, African Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than any other ethnicity group. Of the 5.8 million Americans known to have the disease, African Americans make up 20% of that population. Determining why that is, however, is proving to be difficult as African Americans only make up 3-5% of trial and study participants. While there are theories and speculation, the best answer is to do more research and find more participants.
One theory as to why African Americans are afflicted at such higher rates is due to health issues that are common in the community. While the number one “cause” of Alzheimer’s is still believed to be age, there are several other health problems that can increase the odds as well. Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease are all believed to increase odds of developing Alzheimer’s, and all of these are high in the African American Community. As awareness rises and preventative measures are taken, the hope is that future generations decrease their odds.
“African Americans only make up 3-5% of trial and study participants.”
A more debated thought as to why African Americans seem to get Alzheimer’s at a higher rate is due to social factors. Can discrimination have such an effect on a child’s brain that it affects their health later in life? Some scientists think so. Can growing up poorer, eating less nutrient food, or not getting as high of an education cause an elderly brain to develop forms of dementia? Studies are currently being conducted. The answer to both of those seems like an alarming “yes”, and the hope is that societal racial tensions will decrease as future generations are born and raised and that social factors are no longer a factor in the plight of Alzheimer’s patients.
Want to Participate in a Trial?
The best way to find answers and a cure to Alzheimer’s is to have more data to examine. If you or someone you know would like to participate in a clinical trial go here, fill out your information, and the Alzheimer’s Association will help you find a good fit in your area. You can also call 1-800-272-3900 8am to 8pm CT or email using their form here.
If you are planning for your retirement years, and have questions about Alzheimer’s costs, then speak to a long-term care specialist today. Our team can help you formulate a plan to protect your savings and preserve your relationships. Visit www.LTCconsumer.com for more information and resources.