If You Live in This State, You Could Be at a Higher Risk of Alzheimer's

A new report breaks down the areas with the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's disease.

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Alzheimer's is one of the most rampant diseases in the United States, affecting more than five million people. It's the sixth-leading cause of death in the country, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but it's also one of the most confounding, with researchers constantly seeking answers as to what contributes to the illness. Now, they may have just found a new link: location. According to a new report, if you live in Texas, you could be at a higher risk of Alzheimer's. Read on to find out about the heightened risk in this state and others, and for more you should know about this disease, read up on How Well You Do This One Thing Predicts Your Alzheimer's Risk, Study Says.

A report released on Nov. 17 by UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the Urban Institute identified the counties with the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's disease for Black, Latinx, and white Americans, drawing the results from Medicare data. Among the 25 counties where Alzheimer's is most prevalent for each race—75 counties in total—Texas had the largest share, with more than a third of the worst-hit counties being in the state.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Gladys Maestre, MD, professor of neuroscience and human genetics at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and director of the Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research in Brownsville, says that's not surprising. According to Maestre, the southern part of Texas (where a majority of these counties are) is poor, largely rural, and has lower levels of education than many other regions. "That is definitely place-related," Maestre said.

"In South Texas there are very few services, that's the first thing. Services are based in acute care," she explained in a statement accompanying the report. "For people who are very poor, health is not their top priority—food is, and even getting a TV working becomes a higher priority than going to a doctor, because it's a way to relieve the chronic stress of being poor. Every day you have to make the decision, 'What do I pay?' It's taxing."

David Satcher, MD, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, hopes more research on Alzheimer's risk and location will be done based on this report. In a statement, he said it "offers a unique perspective on how geography and the social determinants of health impact the prevalence and effects of Alzheimer's and related dementias."

For more states where your Alzheimer's risk could be heightened, according to the new report, read on, and for an update on the current health crisis in your area, find out How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State Right Now.

Read the original article on Best Life.

1
Indiana

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One county in Indiana has the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's among Black Americans of anywhere in the country: Fayette County, where the rate is 21.3 percent.

2
Florida

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For Latinx Americans, the rate of Alzheimer's is the highest overall in Miami-Dade County in Florida at 19.1 percent. In another area of Florida, Black Americans also see a high rate of the disease: Calhoun County, where the prevalence is 16.2 percent. And for symptoms you should know, take a look at the Early Signs of Alzheimer's Everyone Over 40 Should Know.

3
Kansas

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Kansas has the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's among white Americans. In Clay County, the rate is the highest of anywhere in the U.S. at 18.7 percent, while Trego County trails behind at 16.7 percent, Gove County at 15.7 percent, and Hodgeman County at 15.4 percent.

4
Louisiana

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The prevalence of Alzheimer's among Black and Latinx Americans is also high in Louisiana. In Jackson County, nearly 16 percent of Black Louisianans have Alzheimer's, the research found. And in Avoyelles County, there's a 17 percent prevalence rate of Alzheimer's among Latinx Louisianans. And for more on how to fight this disease, check out Doing This One Thing Could Drop Your Alzheimer's Risk by 30 Percent.

5
Tennessee

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Four counties in Tennessee had particularly high levels of Black Alzheimer's patients. Humphreys County is the highest at 16.4 percent, then Lake County at 15.8 percent, Marshall County at 14 percent, and Warren at 13.8 percent. And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

6
Georgia

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Alzheimer's is common among Black, Latinx, and white Georgians. It's most prevalent among Black residents in Candler County (14.3 percent), in Dougherty Country for Latinx residents (15.8 percent), and in Quitman County (17.4 percent) for white Georgians. And for less somber Southern facts, find out which Slang Terms You'll Only Hear in the South.

7
Kentucky

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In Kentucky, both Black and white Americans have a high rate of Alzheimer's in one county in particular: Franklin. The region has the second highest rate nationally for both races. Among white residents the rate is 18.6 percent and among Black Kentuckians, it's 20.4 percent. And for an update on how your area fares in terms of other risks, check out This Is the Most Dangerous City in America.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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