Dementia and MCI Are More Prevalent in Black and Hispanic Adults

By Rob Dillard - Last Updated: October 31, 2022

The results of a study that analyzed trends from 2016 suggest that Black and Hispanic adults incur a disproportionate burden of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The study was published in JAMA Neurology.

The nationally representative Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is an essential source of data on dementia and MCI; however, the data were collected more than 20 years ago, and an update is needed. Consequently, the Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) was developed to update estimates and prevalence of MCI and dementia in the US and assess differences according to age, race, ethnicity, and gender.

In this study, investigators analyzed 3496 participants (average age, 76; 60% female) randomly selected from the HCAP who completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and informant interview. Of the population of interest, 551 participants (16%) self-identified as Black and not Hispanic, 382 (16%) self-identified as Hispanic regardless of race, 2483 (71%) self-identified as White and not Hispanic, and 80 (2%) self-identified as another race, including American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or another self-described race.  Dementia and MCI were classified using an algorithm based on standard diagnostic criteria, the researchers noted.

According to the results, dementia was more common among non-Hispanic Black individuals (odds ratio [OR], 1.81; 95% CI, 1.20-2.75) and MCI was more common in Hispanic individuals (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.03-1.96) compared with non-Hispanic White individuals. The study found no differences in dementia/MCI prevalence between male and female individuals.

“Using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and large sample, the national prevalence of dementia and MCI in 2016 found in this cross-sectional study was similar to that of other US-based studies, indicating a disproportionate burden of dementia and MCI among older Black and Hispanic adults and those with lower education,” the researchers concluded.

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