Residence in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Increases Dementia Risk

Older veterans living in more disadvantaged neighborhoods have increased risk for dementia in adjusted analyses

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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

THURSDAY, July 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- For older veterans, residence within more disadvantaged neighborhoods is associated with an increased risk for dementia, according to a study published online July 19 in JAMA Neurology to coincide with the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 16 to 20 in Amsterdam.

Christina S. Dintica, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the association between the Areas Deprivation Index and dementia in a retrospective cohort study involving a national cohort of older veterans. The final analytic sample included 1,637,484 participants with at least one follow-up visit.

The researchers found that 12.8 percent of the veterans developed dementia during a mean follow-up of 11.0 years. In models adjusted for sex, race and ethnicity, and psychiatric and medical comorbid conditions, veterans in greater disadvantaged groups had an increased risk for dementia compared with those in the least disadvantaged neighborhood quintile (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.09, 1.14, 1.16, and 1.22 for second, third, fourth, and fifth quintiles, respectively, compared with first quintile). Similar results were seen repeating the main analysis using competing risk for mortality.

"Neighborhood disadvantage was negatively associated with brain health beyond individual-level factors, even in a population that theoretically has equal access to care," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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