Minorities face highest risks

Research from UCL, just published in PLOS One, looked at modifiable dementia risk factors by ethnic group, found that hypertension conferred a higher risk of dementia in black people compared to white people, while a combination of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, low HDL cholesterol and sleep disorders conferred a higher risk on South Asian people.

Compared to the effects on white people, hypertension had 1.57 times more impact on dementia risk in South Asian people and 1.18 times more impact in black people.

Lead author Dr Naaheed Mukadam said: “Dementia is a growing burden on our ageing population, and this study adds to findings that this is disproportionately affecting some ethnic minority communities. Not only are some risk factors for dementia more common among ethnic minority groups, but these factors also have greater impacts on dementia risk than among the White population.

“We need more prevention efforts tailored for ethnic minority communities to ensure that dementia prevention is equitable, helping health professionals become culturally sensitive and able to inform their patients about dementia risk factors.”

Previous research by Dr Mukadam found dementia rates 22% higher among black people in the UK compared to white people, with black and South Asian dementia patients dying younger and sooner after diagnosis.