Does the Chronic Stress of Everyday Discrimination or Race Itself Better Predict AD Onset Risk?

TitleDoes the Chronic Stress of Everyday Discrimination or Race Itself Better Predict AD Onset Risk?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGary, KM, Hoque, M, Yashkin, AP, Yashin, AI, Akushevich, I
JournalGerontology & Geriatric Medicine
ISSN Number2333-7214
KeywordsAD/ADRD, Discrimination, medical sociology, Racial Disparities, the stress process

Using evidence from the Health and Retirement Study, we explore racial disparities in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) onset risk. From a stress process perspective, there is substantial evidence in the literature that everyday discrimination is a chronic strain for Black individuals that acts as a social determinant of illness. However, few studies have examined specific relationships between this social stressor, race, and AD onset risk. Using Cox Proportional Hazard Models, we examined racial differences in exposure and vulnerability to everyday discrimination. Findings suggest that everyday discrimination predicts AD onset risk, and Black individuals experience more frequent exposure to everyday discrimination as a chronic strain. However, contrary to the stress process model, Black respondents were not more vulnerable to the effect of everyday discrimination on AD onset risk. Racial bias from medical professionals during the diagnostic process and mortality selection bias may explain this effect. Overall, the results of this study provide further evidence that discrimination is a key factor in predicting AD while also considering that many racial minorities with high rates of this type of social stress may not receive an unbiased diagnosis and/or survive to late life to develop AD.

Citation Key12971
PubMed ID36544849
PubMed Central IDPMC9761247
Grant ListR01 AG066133 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
RF1 AG046860 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States