Race and Ethnicity Impact Dementia Risk Factors, Study Finds

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A growing body of evidence suggests that certain modifiable health conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, can make a person more likely to develop dementia. But a new study published in the journal PLoS One finds that these risk factors aren’t “one-size-fits-all” and may impact people differently depending on their race or ethnicity.

Investigators found that not only do a higher proportion of Black and South Asian adults experience certain dementia risk factors compared with white adults, but the impact of certain risk factors may be greater.

“This is a really important finding that has not been identified before,” says lead author Naaheed Mukadam, MD, PhD, researcher at University College London in England.

Dementia Is a Growing Concern as Populations Age

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning, which includes things like the ability to think, remember, and reason to the point where it interferes with a person’s daily life, according to the National Institute on Aging.

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