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Britons of black and south Asian origin with dementia die younger, study finds

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Britons of black and south Asian origin with dementia die younger and sooner after being diagnosed than white people, research has found.

South Asian people die 2.97 years younger and black people 2.66 years younger than their white counterparts, according to a study by academics from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

A team led by Dr Naaheed Mukadam, from UCL’s division of psychiatry, reached their conclusions after studying health records covering the 21 years between 1997 and 2018 of 662,882 people across the UK who were aged over 65.

They found that:

  •  Dementia rates have increased across all ethnic groups.
  •  Black people are 22% more likely to get dementia than their white peers.
  •  Dementia is 17% less common among those of south Asian background.

But they have voiced concern about also discovering that south Asian and black people are diagnosed younger, survive for less time and die younger than white people.

“The earlier age of dementia diagnosis in people of black and south Asian [origin] … may be related to the higher prevalence of some risk factors for dementia such as, in older south Asians, fewer years of education, and in both groups hypertension [high blood pressure], diabetes and obesity,” they write in their paper, published in the medical journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

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Source: The Guardian, 18 September 2022

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