The Latino Crisis
A Booming and Aging Population
- The U.S. Census Bureau projects the Latino population will grow to approximately 129 million in 2060, with Latinos making up 31 percent of the nation's population.
- The Latino older adult population is expected to triple by 2050, growing from 6 percent of older adults in 2003 to 18 percent within the next four decades.
Alzheimer’s and Latinos
- The number of Latino older adults suffering from Alzheimer’s and related dementias could increase by more than 500 percent, from approximately 200,000 today to as many as 1.3 million by 2050.
- Latinos are disproportionately represented in the older age groups most at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Latino life expectancy is projected to increase to age 87 by 2050, surpassing all other ethnic groups in the United States.
- Latinos face a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease because they are living longer and have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- Given the cultural significance of the familia in the Latino community, families, and particularly daughters, provide a disproportionate share of Alzheimer care. According to research, Latina caregivers provide Alzheimer’s care for longer periods of time and at higher levels of impairment than non-Latino caregivers.
- In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at more than $216 billion.
Cultural Barriers to Diagnosis and Treatment
- Research finds that Latinos with dementia are low users of formal health services and are less likely than non-Latinos to see a physician.
- Inadequate translation of diagnostic tools and cultural biases in cognitive testing may skew diagnosis of dementia in Latinos.
- According to the National Institutes of Health, Latinos make up less than one percent of clinical trial participants, despite making up 17 percent of the population.