Minorities at greater risk of developing Alzheimer's, leading association finds

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Black and Hispanic Americans are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than white Americans, according to a recently released Alzheimer's fact sheet.

The Alzheimer's Association's “2010 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures” report shows that blacks are twice as likely as whites to develop Alzheimer's disease. Hispanics are 1.5 times as likely, according to the report. One of the reasons for the disparity is the increasing instance of high blood pressure and diabetes in the minority populations. High blood pressure and diabetes contribute to higher rates of Alzheimer's among all populations, the Alzheimer's Association reported.

As overall rates of Alzheimer's continue to grow, the rates among these populations will grow even more rapidly, the report suggests. The number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's every year is expected to climb from the current 500,000 to roughly 1 million by 2050. Addressing factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure could help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's for minorities, according to the Alzheimer's Association.