Latinos and Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer’s are expected to increase as the senior population continues to grow nationally. Latinos are 50 percent more likely to develop the disease than their white counterparts, researchers from the University of Southern California say. Between 2012 and 2060, the number of Latinos in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to increase 832 percent — from 379,000 to more than 3.5 million, this research indicates.

Despite this, experts say Latinos living with Alzheimer's are less likely to seek formal treatment for it, often because of financial barriers, including not having health insurance. (Nearly 20 percent of Latinos in Chicago do not.) Language and cultural barriers also create challenges in accessing care, experts note.

Researchers do not fully understand why older Latino and black adults are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Genetics, level of education, coincidence of chronic disease, like diabetes, and stress are all suspected factors, as is an inactive lifestyle and poor nutrition.

Source: Chicago Tribune