One in 10 Americans aged 65 and older had dementia in 2016, according to a study aimed at gauging how prevalent the neurological problem is among Americans.
The research released Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology found that nearly a third of Americans had mild cognitive impairment or dementia in 2016.
Twenty-two percent were classified as having mild cognitive impairment, while 10 percent had dementia, according to the study.
The findings indicated that the prevalence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment was similar between men and women but differed by age, race, ethnicity and education level.
Compared to white individuals, dementia was more common among those who self-identified as Black, and mild cognitive impairment was more common among those who self-identified as Hispanic.
With regard to education, the study found that “each additional year of education was associated with a decrease in risk of dementia.”
Low education has been flagged as a risk factor for dementia, along with other social determinants of health such as poverty, limited access to nutritious food and fewer opportunities for exercise.
Other risk factors include obesity and diabetes — both of which have been noted as growing problems in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Another study published earlier this year predicted dementia cases among adults aged 40 and older will nearly triple by 2050 if risk factors aren’t addressed.
Researchers continue to study the disease and work to detect it before cognitive symptoms become too severe.
The study released Monday surveyed 3,496 individuals aged 65 and older who participated in the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study, supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. It was conducted between 2016 and 2017 by a group of researchers at Columbia University, Brown University and the University of Michigan.