Vulnerability to Hypertension Is a Major Determinant of Racial Disparities in Alzheimer's Disease Risk.

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Higher incidence levels of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in Black Americans are well documented. However, quantitative explanations of this disparity in terms of risk-factor diseases acting through well-defined pathways are lacking.


We applied a Blinder-Oaxaca-based algorithm modified for censored data to a 5% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries age 65+ to explain Black/White disparities in AD risk in terms of differences in exposure and vulnerability to morbidity profiles based on 10 major AD-risk-related diseases.


The primary contribution to racial disparities in AD risk comes from morbidity profiles that included hypertension with about 1/5th of their contribution due to differences in prevalence (exposure effect) and 4/5ths to differences in the effects of the morbidity profile on AD risk (vulnerability effect). In total, disease-related effects explained a higher proportion of AD incidence in Black Americans than in their White counterparts.


Disease-related causes may represent some of the most straightforward targets for targeted interventions aimed at the reduction of racial disparities in health among US older adults. Hypertension is a manageable and potentially preventable condition responsible for the majority of the Black/White differences in AD risk, making mitigation of the role of this disease in engendering higher AD incidence in Black Americans a prominent concern.





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Akushevich, Igor, Stanislav Kolpakov, Arseniy P Yashkin and Julia Kravchenko (2022). Vulnerability to Hypertension Is a Major Determinant of Racial Disparities in Alzheimer's Disease Risk. American journal of hypertension, 35(8). pp. 745–751. 10.1093/ajh/hpac063 Retrieved from

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Arseniy Yashkin

Research Scientist, Senior

I am primarily a health outcomes researcher who specializes in cancers and chronic age-related diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease and type II diabetes mellitus.  However, I also write in epidemiology, demography, health economics and genetics.  I am a specialist in the analysis of administrative big health data.   My main contributions to scholarship can be summarized across three focus areas: health outcomes research, epidemiology and methodology, and health economics.  Some of my most important findings are described below.

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