Neuropathological Diagnoses of Demented Hispanic, Black, and Non-Hispanic White Decedents Seen at an Alzheimer's Disease Center

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27 Scopus citations


Our nation is becoming increasingly diverse; however, few autopsy studies examine multiple ethnoracial groups, especially Hispanics. We examined differences in neuropathological diagnoses of 423 deceased participants with dementia from three ethnoracial groups (35 Black, 28 Hispanic, and 360 non-Hispanic White) evaluated at the University of California Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center. We used novel applications of bootstrap resampling and logistic regression standardization to project neuropathological diagnostic rates for non-Hispanic Whites to minority sample characteristics to improve inference of findings. Alzheimer's disease (AD) without significant cerebrovascular disease (CVD) or other dementia-related pathologies (AD (non-mixed)) was present in 15 Black (43%), 4 Hispanic (14%), and 156 (43%) non-Hispanic Whites. CVD sufficient to contribute to dementia was confirmed in 14 Black (40%), 15 Hispanic (54%), and 101 (28%) non-Hispanic White decedents. The observed CVD prevalence of 40% in Blacks exceeded the predicted 29% [95% CI: 22%-36%]. Despite being outside the 95% confidence interval, the difference between observed and predicted was not statistically significant after bootstrap testing. Conversely, for Hispanics, the observed proportion at 54% exceeded significantly the predicted prevalence of 24% from non-Hispanic Whites [95% CI: 16%-34%], avg. p = 0.008). An identical analysis using AD (non-mixed) as the outcome predicted AD (non-mixed) in Blacks averaging 41% [95% CI: 34%-48%], nearly equal to observed prevalence. For Hispanics, however, the observed proportion at 14%, was well below predictions (mean = 42%, 95% CI: 32%-53%], avg. p = 0.008). We conclude mixed diagnoses and CVD are more common in Hispanic and Black decedents than Non-Hispanic Whites with dementia in our cohort. The increased prevalence of vascular co-morbidity may be a potential opportunity to intervene more effectively in dementia treatment of those individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • autopsy
  • brain
  • cognitive aging
  • cohort studies
  • dementia
  • minority groups
  • neuropathology
  • vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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