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Frequency of Dementia Etiologies in Four Ethnic Groups

Hou C.E.a · Yaffe K.a-c · Pérez-Stable E.J.d · Miller B.L.a
Departments of aNeurology, bPsychiatry and cEpidemiology and Biostatistics, and dCenter for Aging in Diverse Communities, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, and Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California at San Francisco; San Francisco, Calif., USA Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2006;22:42–47 (DOI:10.1159/000093217)


Background/Aims: Research on dementia among ethnically diverse populations in the USA has focused primarily on Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia, but there are limited data on other neurodegenerative causes of dementia. Methods: To determine the frequency of neurodegenerative disorders in four ethnic groups, data collected at Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers of California for assessments between 1992 and 2002 were analyzed retrospectively. Cases of Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Parkinson disease and progressive supranuclear palsy were identified for 452 Asian and Pacific Islander, 472 Black, 675 Latino and 4,926 White patients. Results: The percentage of non-Whites diagnosed as having dementia with Lewy bodies was lower than that of Whites. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration was as common in Asians and Pacific Islanders compared to Whites, but less common in Blacks and Latinos. Progressive supranuclear palsy was more frequent in Asians and Pacific Islanders compared to Whites, but equally common in Blacks and Latinos. Conclusion: Additional study is needed on the social and biological factors that influence the diagnosis and prevalence of non-Alzheimer and nonvascular dementias among diverse ethnic groups.


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