Understanding the link between race, access to quality education, and dementia

  • In a study assessing the relationship between state-level educational quality during childhood and dementia risk in later life (n=20,788, 18.8% Black), Black individuals were more likely to attend school in states in the lowest educational quality tertile (76.2–86.1% of individuals vs 20.8–23.3% of White individuals).
  • Lower educational quality tertiles were associated with the highest risk for dementia. The highest quality tertile conferred a 12–21% risk reduction for dementia, with term length offering the greatest protection (hazard ratio 0.79).
  • The authors concluded that race differences in access to state education have significant effects on risk of dementia in later life. Investment in higher-quality education may reduce future dementia incidence.