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AAIC 2022 | Racial/ethnic disparities in dementia research

Kristen George, PhD, MPH, University of California Davis, CA, discusses how modifiable dementia risk factors differ by race and ethnicity. Research has highlighted differences in cardiovascular risk factor prevalence, with Black and Latino populations showing higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. There are also differences in neuroimaging, as Black individuals tend to show more cerebrovascular disease than other populations. Therefore, there are some indications that there are differences in risk factors between ethnicities that present similar patterns as the disparities we see in dementia outcomes. The challenge moving forwards is going beyond these disparities and understanding how racism and how an individual’s cultural identity can shape their risk factors throughout their life and ultimately knowing where and how to intervene. The LifeAfter90 study has helped to provide some life-course exposures data to get a better idea of risk factors for dementia throughout life and not just in mid-life or late life. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.