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African American Health

Statistics on Alzheimers



What are the most recent statistics on African Americans with Alzheimer`s?


Statistics on African Americans with Alzheimer's vary by source and study. A general estimate based on several studies is that roughly 6% of African Americans have Alzheimer's disease. A unique issue in African American older adults is that they are disproportionately affected by diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes that can cause cognitive problems and also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's. In Cleveland OH, the 2000 Census data indicates that there are now approximately 44,180 individuals with Alzheimer's disease in a 5 county area, with roughly 28% of the cases African American. Across the general population, 1 in 10 persons over 65 and nearly half of those over 85 have Alzheimer's disease. Today, four million Americans have Alzheimer's disease.

For a variety of reasons, fewer African Americans tend to participate in research and usually do not seek the assistance of health care professionals until later into the disease. We appreciate your interest and the question you submitted. We encourage you to continue with your interest in African Americans with Alzheimer's, as we need to learn about their unique needs.

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Response by:

Paula K Ogrocki, PhD Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University