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Risk of Alzheimer’s in Hispanics nearly 2 times higher than in Caucasians

(PHOENIX – Sept. 23, 2021) – A Phoenix-based Alzheimer’s expert is available for interviews on Thursday, Sept. 30 to discuss the higher prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the Hispanic population and to describe the efforts underway at Barrow Neurological Institute to help the Hispanic community fight the disease.

The Hispanic population is one and a half times more likely than the Caucasian population to develop Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetimes. And, although people of Hispanic descent are at an increased risk for developing the disease, they are less likely to be diagnosed and are often diagnosed later into the disease progression.

Barrow has developed a number of programs to provide more access and support to the Hispanic population as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease. One program in particular, called the HEART program, is focused on enrolling a larger number of Hispanics in clinical trials to help develop more advanced therapies to treat the disease.

As part of this program, Barrow, in collaboration with the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium and other Valley hospitals, are studying individuals who are at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease in an effort to advance the understanding, treatment, and prevention of the disease. Although this longitudinal study is open for all ethnicities, Hispanic participants are crucial to further understand why the disease more heavily affects this demographic.

“Hispanics are projected to have the fastest growth in the diagnoses of Alzheimer's and dementia," says Dr. Burke, director of the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program at Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. “It’s crucial these individuals receive greater access to care in order to detect the disease in its early stages, provide them with the best available resources and medical treatment, and help researchers better understand why the disease more greatly affects this ethnicity.”


Publish date: 

Thursday, September 23, 2021