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More than 5.7 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, a number expected to rise to 14 million by 2050, according to a March 2018 report by the Alzheimer’s Association.
There is one new Alzheimer’s case every 65 seconds.
Sadly, U.S. Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than whites, studies show.
Preventing Alzheimer’s is critical as the young Latino population ages.
“The number of Hispanic elders with Alzheimer’s and related dementias could increase more than six-fold, from fewer than 200,000 today to as many as 1.3 million by 2050,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s Disease in Latinos
In the U.S., two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women. Latinas are at higher risk than non-Latinas.
Genetics, lifestyle and socioeconomic risk are factors that impact the rate of Alzheimer’s among Latinos.
Diabetes is a growing risk factor, writes health blogger Karen Klein.
Latinos have an 86% higher rate of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes than their peers, according to the CDC.
“Latinos are 50 percent more likely to develop this form of dementia. And one underlying reason is the high diabetes rate,” Klein wrote. “A growing body of research has found diabetes to be a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.”
The Cost of Alzheimer’s: $200 Billion
Healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s has three main components:
- direct costs that include medical expenses (visits, tests, medication);
- social costs associated with paid formal caregiving by health professionals or institutionalization; and
- indirect costs associated with informal caregivers.
There are more than 16.1 million American’s who provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s. That is about 18.4 billion hours of care per year, valued over $232 billion.
By mid-century it may increase to $1.1 trillion.
Family is the heart of the Latino culture. There is an expectation that children will take care of their aging parents.
In the Latino community cultural norms and practices are major obstacles to accessing services. Obstacles include personalism (the tendency to trust people versus institutions) and a preference for speaking Spanish.
How You Can Get Involved
Or get active with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This event raises support and awareness in more than 600 communities nationwide.
And be sure to learn more about Latino mental health!