The Importance of Improving Educational Attainment for Dementia Prevalence Trends from 2000-2014, among Older non-Hispanic Black and White Americans.

TitleThe Importance of Improving Educational Attainment for Dementia Prevalence Trends from 2000-2014, among Older non-Hispanic Black and White Americans.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHayward, MD, Farina, MP, Zhang, YS, Kim, JK, Crimmins, EM
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B
Volume76
Issue9
Pagination1870-1879
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsCognitive health, Educational attainment
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: While a number of studies have documented a notable decline in age-standardized prevalence in dementia in the U.S. population, relatively little is known about how dementia has declined for specific age and race groups, and the importance of changing educational attainment on the downward trend. We assess 1) how the trends in dementia prevalence may have differed across age and race groups and 2) the role of changing educational attainment in understanding these trends.

METHOD: This paper estimates a series of logistic regression models using data from the Health and Retirement Study (2000-2014) to assess the relative annual decline in dementia prevalence and the importance of improving educational attainment for non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks.

RESULTS: Consistent with other studies, we found significant declines in dementia for non-Hispanic Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites across this period. Nonetheless, these declines were not uniform across age and race groups. Non-Hispanic Blacks aged 65-74 had the steepest decline in this period. We also found that improved educational attainment in the population was fundamentally important in understanding declining dementia prevalence in the United States.

DISCUSSION: This study shows the importance of improvement in educational attainment in the early part of the 20 th century to understand the downward trend in dementia prevalence in the United States from 2000 to 2014.

DOI10.1093/geronb/gbab015
Citation Key11396
PubMed ID33481025
PubMed Central IDPMC8557827