Black people have 22% higher dementia risk

In the UK, dementia rates among black people are 22% higher than for white people, demonstrating the need for more targeted interventions to reduce dementia risks and improve treatment outcomes for ethnic minority communities.

That is the verdict of UCL researchers who carried out the study, which looked at health records of more than 660,000 people aged over 65.  Researchers also discovered that the recorded incidence of dementia in the south Asian population was 17% below the average for the whole population.

“A targeted campaign could inform health professionals about the disparities [between ethnic groups], helping them to better inform their patients about the risks of dementia, and could ensure that health care providers are culturally sensitive and able to reach all members of their local community that need support,” said study lead author Dr Naaheed Mukadam.

It is thought that the discrepancies between groups are partly genetic and partly a result of underlying health conditions like high blood pressure and obesity.