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Study uncovers ethnic differences in cognition and age in people diagnosed with dementia

January 24, 2019

In an International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry study of individuals diagnosed with dementia in the United Kingdom, people from minority ethnic backgrounds (Asian and Black patients) had lower cognitive scores and were younger when they were diagnosed with dementia than White patients.

The study used data from electronic health records and included 9,380 White patients, 642 Asian patients, and 2,008 Black patients who were diagnosed with dementia in two London mental health trusts between 2008 and 2016.

The study's authors noted that there is a need to understand these inequalities, to see if dementia prevention initiatives should be tailored by ethnic group and to ensure dementia diagnosis across all ethnic groups is obtained as early as possible.

"This study is the first to investigate age and cognitive impairment at the time of dementia diagnosis in South Asians. The earlier age at diagnosis indicates that dementia prevalence in South Asians is likely to be higher in this group than in the White British population," said lead author Dr. Naaheed Mukadam, of University College London.
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Wiley

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