Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Study: Alzheimer's Hits U.S. Latinos Earlier

Close to a seven-year gap between symptom onset in Hispanics, whites

TUESDAY, May 10, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- American Hispanics develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease an average of five to seven years earlier than their white peers, a new study suggests.

"Latino individuals, the largest- and fastest-growing minority group in the mainland United States, appear to have an earlier age of Alzheimer's disease symptom onset compared with Anglo individuals with a similar educational level," concludes the study, conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and five Alzheimer's Disease Centers across the United States.

The two-phase study appears in the May issue of the Archives of Neurology. The first phase found that the average age of Alzheimer's symptom onset among 366 Hispanic patients was 68.8 years, compared with 73.5 years among more than 2,800 white non-Hispanics.

In the second phase of the study, the researchers determined the average age of disease symptom onset in 119 Hispanic patients to be a full 6.8 years earlier than that seen in 55 white non-Hispanic patients.

"The factors responsible for this remain to be identified," the researchers noted, adding that, "from the individual patient and family standpoint as well as a public health perspective, it is important to identify modifiable factors that contribute to the symptomatic expression of Alzheimer's disease in this significant minority group."

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has information about the stages of Alzheimer's disease.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, May 9, 2005
Consumer News