The contribution of dementia to the disparity in family wealth between black and non-black Americans

TitleThe contribution of dementia to the disparity in family wealth between black and non-black Americans
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsKaufman, J, Gallo, WT, Fahs, MC
JournalAgeing and Society
ISBN Number0144686X
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Age, Aging, Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimers disease, Blacks, Costs, Dementia, dementia cost, Equity, Families & family life, Gerontology And Geriatrics, Health and Retirement Study, Income inequality, Long term health care, Ownership, Racial differences, Racial Disparities, Retirement, Senility, Studies, United States–US, Wealth, wealth disparities

{The enormous economic burden of dementia in the United States of America falls disproportionately on families coping with this devastating disease. Black Americans, who are at greater risk of developing dementia than white Americans, hold on average less than one-eighth of the wealth of white Americans. This study explores whether dementia exacerbates this wealth disparity by examining dementia's effect on wealth trajectories of black versus non-black Americans over an eight-year period preceding death, using five waves of data (beginning in 2002 or 2004) on decedents in the 2012 and 2014 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (N = 2,429). Dementia is associated with a loss of 97 per cent of wealth among black Americans, compared with 42 per cent among non-black Americans, while wealth loss among black and non-black Americans without dementia did not differ substantially (15% versus 19%). Dementia appears to increase the probability of wealth exhaustion among both black and non-black Americans, although the estimate is no longer significant after adjusting for all covariates (for blacks, odds ratio (OR) = 2.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.83, 5.00; for non-blacks

Citation Key10529