Where Alzheimer’s disease is most common in the US

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A new study reveals that Alzheimer’s disease is most prevalent in the East and Southeast regions of the United States.

This pattern may be due to the higher number of older individuals, as well as Black and Hispanic populations living in these areas.

Kumar Rajan, a professor of internal medicine at Rush Medical College in Chicago, highlights that these new estimates provide a clearer picture of where Alzheimer’s is most widespread in the country.

This information can help raise awareness in specific regions and guide public health programs in allocating resources, such as funding and personnel, to better care for those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

The study examined data from all 3,142 counties in the U.S., using information from the Chicago Health and Aging Project and the U.S. government’s population estimates.

Alzheimer’s Hotspots

The counties with the highest rates of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Baltimore City, Maryland
  • Bronx County, New York

Each of these areas has 16.6% of their senior population affected by Alzheimer’s. Other regions with high rates include Prince George’s County in Maryland (16.1%), Hinds County in Mississippi (15.5%), Orleans Parish in Louisiana (15.4%), Dougherty County in Georgia (15.3%), Orangeburg County in California (15.2%), and both Imperial County in California and El Paso County in Texas (15%).

Who’s At Risk?

Age is a significant factor in developing Alzheimer’s. The study found that older Black Americans are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s or other dementias compared to older white Americans. Older Hispanic adults are about 1.5 times as likely to develop these diseases as older white people.

Rajan explains that Alzheimer’s is a complex disease involving multiple risk factors. It’s not just about age or race alone; it’s about how these and other factors interact to influence the likelihood of developing the disease.

Currently, about 6.7 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease. The study predicts that the West and Southwest regions will experience the largest increase in Alzheimer’s cases between 2020 and 2025.

Matthew Baumgart, vice president of health policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, notes that understanding the prevalence of Alzheimer’s can help health officials anticipate the strain on the healthcare system.

It also helps identify areas with a high need for culturally sensitive health support and caregiver training.

As the number of people with Alzheimer’s grows, there is an increasing demand for a workforce trained to diagnose, treat, and care for them.

The researchers presented their findings at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and published their work in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies that bad lifestyle habits can cause Alzheimer’s disease, and strawberries can be good defence against Alzheimer’s.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that oral cannabis extract may help reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms, and Vitamin E may help prevent Parkinson’s disease.

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