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Many Non-Whites Experience Discrimination in Alzheimer Disease Care

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 -- A considerable proportion of non-White Americans receiving Alzheimer disease or dementia care report having experienced discrimination, according to a report from the Alzheimer's Association.

Researchers from the Alzheimer's Association surveyed U.S. adults and current or recent caregivers of adults aged 50 years or older with cognitive issues to examine racial and ethnic attitudes on Alzheimer disease and dementia care.

According to the report, discrimination is a barrier to Alzheimer disease and dementia care. Overall, 36, 18, and 19 percent of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, respectively, believe discrimination would be a barrier to receiving Alzheimer disease care. Fifty, 42, 34, and 33 percent of Black, Native, Asian, and Hispanic Americans, respectively, report having experienced health care discrimination. Half or more of non-White caregivers report having faced discrimination when navigating health care settings for their care recipient; providers not listening because of their race, color, or ethnicity is a top concern. Forty-one and 32 percent of caregivers providing care for a Black and Hispanic person, respectively, say that race makes it harder for them to receive excellent health care.

"Despite ongoing efforts to address health and health care disparities in Alzheimer's and dementia care, survey results show there is still a lot of work to be done," Carl V. Hill, Ph.D., MPH, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the Alzheimer's Association, said in a statement. "Discrimination, lack of diversity among health care professionals and mistrust in medical research create significant barriers to care."

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