Would you be surprised to learn that Alzheimer’s is African Americans' fourth leading cause of death?
Alzheimer's is often referred to as a “Silent Epidemic” among African Americans. This is partly due to an unwillingness to acknowledge and discuss the disease.
African Americans face a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Several factors contribute to this disparity, including genetic predispositions, socioeconomic disparities, and healthcare inequalities. Research suggests that certain genetic variations more commonly found in African Americans may increase the risk of Alzheimer's.
Additionally, socioeconomic factors such as lower education levels, limited access to healthcare, and higher rates of conditions like diabetes and hypertension, which are linked to Alzheimer's, may contribute to the increased risk. Cultural beliefs, stigma, and mistrust of the healthcare system can also impact timely diagnosis and treatment.
Addressing these disparities requires targeted efforts to improve access to healthcare, promote awareness and education, reduce socioeconomic inequalities, and ensure culturally competent care. By addressing these factors, we can work towards reducing the disproportionate burden of Alzheimer's disease among African Americans and promoting better brain health for all communities.
This is a conversation with Dr. Christopher Howard, a Neuropsychologist. He's on the forefront in the fight to help his vulnerable community.