Hispanics face unique Alzheimer's challenges, newspaper reports
Alzheimer's specialists in Chicago have recently launched a new effort to educate the city's Latino population about the disease, as it affects Latinos about seven years earlier than it does white Americans.
Experts say that low-income levels, language barriers and access to medical care contribute to higher rates of diabetes and high-blood pressure in Latinos, making them more susceptible to Alzheimer's, according to the Chicago Tribune. This has caused what the Alzheimer's Association refers to as a public health crisis.
Researchers found that the Latino culture places a larger stigma on individuals who have the disease, which affects Latino communities beyond just Chicago. Latinos from rural communities still believe that the disease's symptoms in the elderly are punishments for sins they committed when they were younger. Other Latinos consider dementia a mental illness and, thus, shameful.