New Alzheimer’s Association Report Examines Racial and Ethnic

Report also shows latest statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality and cost of care in Iowa and nationally 

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, March 2, 2021 – Findings from two national surveys appearing in the Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report reveal that discrimination is a barrier to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. More than one-third of Black Americans (36%) and nearly one-fifth of Hispanic Americans (18%) and Asian Americans (19%), believes discrimination would be a barrier to receiving Alzheimer’s care. In addition, half or more of non-White caregivers say they have experienced discrimination when navigating health care settings for their care recipient.

The 2021 Facts and Figures report provides an in-depth look at the latest national statistics on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, costs of care and impact on caregivers. New disease-related statistics for Iowa revealed the following:

●        Number of Iowa residents aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s: 66,000

●        Estimated number of Iowa residents living with Alzheimer’s in 2025: 73,000

●        Percentage change: 10.6%

●        Statewide deaths from Alzheimer’s disease (2019): 1,344

●        Number of Iowa residents serving as unpaid family caregivers: 73,000

●        Total hours of unpaid care provided: 60 million

●        Total value of unpaid care: 995 million

The new Facts and Figures report shows that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias continue to be a significant burden for too many Iowa families,” said Doug Bickford, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter. “We must continue to work toward advancing new treatments that can stop or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, while also continuing to provide care and support services to help all those affected.

For the first time, the accompanying special report, “Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America,” examines perspectives and experiences of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native and White Americans in regard to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

Findings in the report, reveal that non-White racial/ethnic populations expect and experience more barriers when accessing dementia care, have less trust in medical research and are less confident that they have access to health professionals who understand their ethnic and racial background and experiences. Among the findings:

·       Two-thirds of Black Americans (66%) believe it is harder for them to get excellent care for Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Likewise, 2 in 5 Native Americans (40%) and Hispanic Americans (39%) believe their own race or ethnicity makes it harder to get care, as do one-third of Asian Americans (34%).

·       Nearly two-thirds of Black Americans (62%) believe that medical research is biased against people of color — a view shared by substantial numbers of Asian Americans (45%), Native Americans (40%) and Hispanic Americans (36%) as well.

·       Only half of Black Americans (53%) trust a future cure for Alzheimer’s will be shared equally regardless of race, color or ethnicity.

·       Fewer than half of Black (48%) and Native Americans (47%) feel confident they have access to providers who understand their ethnic or racial background and experiences, and only about 3 in 5 Asian Americans (63%) and Hispanics (59%) likewise feel confident.   

“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,” said Carl V. Hill, Ph.D., MPH. chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “Clearly, discrimination, lack of diversity among health care professionals and mistrust in medical research create significant barriers to care and demand the country’s full attention.”

As noted in the 2021 Facts and Figures report, health and socioeconomic disparities and systemic racism contribute to increased Alzheimer’s and dementia risk in communities of color. According to the report, older Blacks and Hispanics are also disproportionately more likely to have Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In addition, both groups are more likely to have missed diagnoses than older whites.

The Alzheimer’s Association believes that bridging the racial and ethnic barriers in Alzheimer’s and dementia care is vital, and they are taking steps to help decrease the disparities. Some of these steps include:

·       Increase diversity in dementia care. The Alzheimer’s Association surveys indicate non-White ethnic/racial populations want dementia care providers who understand their experiences and backgrounds, however, only 1 in 3 U.S. physicians are Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Asian. Future Alzheimer’s and dementia research can be strengthened by increasing the diversity of investigators and professionals who conduct clinical trial and population health research.

§  The Alzheimer’s Association and NIH are co-funding the Institute on Methods and Protocols for Advancement of Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (IMPACT-AD) program — an innovative program to increase diversity in dementia research launched in fall of 2020.

§  Participants included both early-career and established professionals. Seventy percent were women and more than half self-identified as people of color.

·       Engage, recruit and retain diverse populations in Alzheimer’s and dementia research and clinical trials. Without appropriate participation by Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native Americans in Alzheimer’s clinical trials and research, it is impossible to get a complete understanding of how racial and ethnic differences may affect the efficacy and safety of potential new treatments. The Alzheimer’s Association is working with several community-based organizations and other groups to educate and engage diverse communities about Alzheimer’s disease and care and support services it provides. National partnerships include:

  •  The African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • The National Hispanic Council on Aging
  •  SAGE (Advocacy & Services for LGBTQ Elders)
  •  The Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  •  Tzu Chi USA

Additional data from the report is included below. Full text of the 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, including the accompanying special report, “Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America,” can be viewed at The report will also appear in the March 2021 issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Updated Alzheimer’s Statistics

The Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report also provides an annual look at the latest national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality and morbidity, costs of care and caregiving, both nationally and state-by-state.  

About 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures 

TheAlzheimer’s Association 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals, families, government and the nation’s health care system. Since its 2007 inaugural release, the report has become the preeminent source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s issues. The Facts and Figures report is an official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association.

About the Survey

Versta Research conducted two surveys on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association: (1) U.S. adults and (2) current or recent caregivers of adults age 50 or older with cognitive issues. Respondents were asked about access to care and support services, trust in providers and the health care system, participation in clinical trials and research, and caregiver experiences. Surveys were conducted October 26 – November 11, 2020. Data was collected by NORC at the University of Chicago via the AmeriSpeak® panel. AmeriSpeak is a probability-based panel of all U.S. households. 

The survey included 945 White respondents. Oversamples of Hispanic (n=541), Black (n=515) and Asian Americans (n=412) were weighted back to their true population proportions for statistical analysis and reporting. For full inclusion of Native Americans, the same survey was administered to an additional sample of 406 Native Americans recruited through online (non-probability) panels with sampling stratified and data weighted on gender, age, income and education to match U.S. Census Bureau data. The surveys were offered in both English and Spanish. For complete details regarding survey methodology, see page 73 of the report.

About the Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. For more information, visit or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.