Older black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias than older white Americans, the Alzheimer’s Association revealed in their 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. “Genetic factors do not appear to account for the large prevalence differences among racial groups,” the report stated. Instead, “variations in health, lifestyle and socioeconomic risk factors across racial groups most likely account for most of the differences in risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias by race.”
April is National Minority Health Month, a time to recognize disparities in health such as the increased prevalence of dementia, diabetes, and stroke in minorities. The theme for 2017 is “Bridging Health Equity Across Communities,” which aims to emphasize the importance of our communities in moving towards equal opportunities for maximum health, or health equity. Want to take action? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health recommends four steps to get started:
- Get informed: Learn about the ways people are collaborating at the community level, culturally and linguistically appropriate services, maximizing health coverage, and your health condition. See also, our interview with Dana Alliance Member Patrick Griffith, M.D., F.A.A.N., and Successful Aging & Your Brain booklet to learn more about keeping your brain healthy as you age.
- Get involved: Conduct presentations on health disparities, watch a webinar, or attend a health event.
- Get connected: Join the discussion on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using the hashtag #NMHM17.
- Spread the word: Tell others about health disparities and ways to get involved.
The Dana Foundation is committed to helping people in all communities find responsible information about the brain by making all our materials free and available online. Many resources have been translated into other languages for even more accessibility, and we just launched our new Successful Aging & Your Brain en Español page on Dana.org! Check it out to learn about the brain with fact sheets, puzzles, videos, and more, all in Spanish!
– Ali Chunovic