Facts and Statistics
Alzheimer’s is not part of the normal aging process. It is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.

Did you know?

Alzheimer’s is not part of the normal aging process. It is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. 

Dementia is caused by physical changes in the brain. People with dementia have challenges with memory loss and other mental skills that impact daily life. There are many kinds of dementia, but Alzheimer's is the most common type.

More than 20% of Americans with AD are African Americans.

By 2030, nearly 40 percent of all Americans living with Alzheimer’s will be Black or Latino.

Today, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death among African Americans. But many suspect that ranking is likely higher. That’s because cases of Alzheimer’s may not be reported due to being undiagnosed, stigma, or because of a lack of awareness about what Alzheimer’s disease is and how symptoms look. 

While African Americans make up 12% of the U.S. population, they make up only 5% of people who take part in research. This leaves gaps in what we know about the African American experience with dementia. 

Specific Facts About Dementia in the African American Community

The risk of developing dementia, and even dementia symptoms, can differ among groups. More research is needed to learn why. This is one of the reasons why the National Black Nurses Association and the Alzheimer’s Association are working together to increase the number of African Americans who take part in research on Alzheimer’s disease. 

Around 1 in 5 Black Americans over 70 years old live with Alzheimer’s disease. Older Black Americans are twice as likely to have dementia than older white Americans.

Higher dementia rates in Black Americans could be due to higher rates of chronic health conditions and situational and environmental risk factors.

Some studies see the difference in dementia rates disappear after accounting for socioeconomic status and overall health.

69% of Black Americans fear being a guinea pig in clinical trials and 45% have concerns about getting sick from clinical trial treatment.

55% of Black people think that significant memory loss and cognitive ability is a natural part of aging.

89% of Black Americans say it is important for dementia care providers to understand their ethnic and racial backgrounds, but only 45% are confident that they have access to providers who do.