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Addressing the disparity: Black Americans in the Alzheimer’s disease battle


The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias within the African American community presents a critical health disparity that demands attention. Studies have shown that older Black Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to their White counterparts. This alarming statistic raises questions about the underlying causes and highlights the need for targeted research and health care support.

Exploring the causes

Cardiovascular diseases, prevalent in the Black community, are suspected to contribute to the higher incidence of dementia. These conditions, affecting the heart and blood vessels, could be significant factors in cognitive decline. However, research suggests that when factors such as overall health and socioeconomic status are accounted for, the racial disparity in Alzheimer’s prevalence may diminish.

Overcoming health care barriers

Despite the potential links to cardiovascular health, a mere 20% of Black Americans feel they have unfettered access to excellent health care and support services for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. This indicates a substantial barrier that must be addressed to ensure equitable health care access and support for those battling these conditions.

As we continue to fight against Alzheimer’s disease, it is imperative to understand and mitigate the factors contributing to this disparity. Ensuring comprehensive healthcare access and improving support systems for African American communities is not just a matter of health equity; it is a crucial step towards a future where the burden of dementia can be lifted for all.