Cost of Alzheimer's Disease Influence Health & Race Disparities for African Americans & Latinos

By Lou Portero - Last Updated: March 9, 2022

The cost of Alzheimer’s disease for African Americans and Latinx is influenced by racial and health disparities, according to a report published in US Against Alzheimer’s.

This report draws on two parallel studies focusing on African American and Latinx patients. First, Darrell J. Gaskin, Ph.D., and colleagues found that the economic burden of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias for African Americans was $71.6 billion in 2012. This study showed that African Americans, despite being only 13.6% of the U.S. population, bear one-third of the cost of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (AD). Of these costs, caregivers accounted for more than 60%, most of which were borne by the families of African American women. The authors attribute these higher costs to underestimated racial disparities in the prevalence of AD.

In a separate study, Shinji Wu, Ph.D., and colleagues predicted that the number of Latinx Alzheimer’s cases will increase 832% by 2060 if there are no medical breakthroughs to cure or slow the progression of the disease. This increase will heighten the economic burden on those with the disease and caregivers. According to the authors, as the Latinx population ages, more communities, families, and caregivers will have fewer resources to manage the disease. They further simulate that the economic impact of AD on the Latinx community will reach a cumulative $2.35 trillion by 2060.

The authors also believe that place of residence may impact Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment in the Black and Latinx communities.


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