According to a study published in the open-access journal, minority groups in the United States are more vulnerable to memory loss, confusion, and their consequences in life. BMC Public Health.
A researcher at Delaware State University, USA, investigated the levels of subjective cognitive decline in U.S. adults, who were over 45 years old. Subjective cognitive decline is the experience of frequent confusion and memory loss, which has been identified as a possible early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. The author used data on 179,852 American adults aged 45 and over, collected as part of the 2015 to 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey, during which respondents answered six designed questions. to self-evaluate memory loss and cognitive ability.
Overall, 10.8% (19,276) of adults 45 years or older reported a subjective cognitive decline. 10.7% of whites experienced subjective cognitive impairment compared with 12.3% of blacks and 9.9% of Hispanics.
Black and Hispanic individuals with subjective cognitive impairment were more likely to be younger (45-54 years) compared with white individuals with subjective cognitive decline (most of whom were 65 or older). In black and Hispanic groups, those with subjective cognitive impairment were more likely to have less education, to have a lower income and have difficulty functioning (struggling to complete household chores).
Less than half of blacks (46.8%) or Hispanics (44.5%) with subjective cognitive decline had discussed their problems with a health care provider, but this did not differ significantly from those who were white.
However, the author found a significantly higher burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes and the disease. high blood pressure among black and Hispanic groups with subjective cognitive decline. Nearly 80% of people who identified as black and reported symptoms of subjective cognitive decline reported at least one chronic condition, compared with about 64% in white and Hispanic groups. The author suggests that there may be a higher burden of chronic disease, as it was found that black and Hispanic groups were more prone to the low-income category and experienced more difficulty functioning.
The author points out that by 2060, the percentage increase in the total population in the US is estimated to be 172% for African Americans and 391% for Hispanics compared to 75% for non-Hispanic whites. They suggest it may mean a higher number in black and Hispanic groups with cognitive difficulties.
Sangeeta Gupta, the author said, “It is worrying that we find groups of blacks and Hispanics reporting cognitive symptoms at an early age, especially given the projected increase in minority populations in the U.S. by 2060. in the future, as we see more in young blacks and Hispanics who develop symptoms of cognitive impairment, this may mean that we have a higher number in those groups, who not only struggle to be independent, but may also progress to mental illness. ‘Alzheimer’s and related dementia’.
The author warns that the survey may not have captured individuals with more severe cognitive problems, as these individuals are likely to live in residential care homes that were not included in the study. In addition, understanding questions and answering accurately requires a certain level of memory and those who are most affected may not have been able to answer.
Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Closer Look, United States, 2015-2018, BMC Public Health (2021). DOI: 10.1186 / s12889-021-11068-1
Citation: U.S. minority groups experience early life cognitive problems (2021, June 23), recovered June 23, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-minority-groups-cognitive -issues-earlier.html
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