Asian Americans are the fastest growing major racial group in the U.S., but they are among the least represented groups in scientific research. This can make it harder for individuals or families to recognize the symptoms and seek professional care. Learn what the Alzheimer's Association is doing to address health disparities and provide support for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living with Alzheimer's or other dementia.

Quick facts

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One in four (25%) of Asian Americans report a lack of family support as a barrier.

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Almost half (45%) of Asian Americans believe that medical research is biased against people of color.

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Only 12% of Asian Americans report that they have no barriers to excellent Alzheimer's and dementia care.

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More than half (56%) of Asian Americans believe that significant loss of memory or cognitive (such as thinking or learning) ability is a normal part of aging. 

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Almost half (46%) of Asian Americans say that they are concerned about developing Alzheimer's or dementia.

For more information, please see our special 2021 report on Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer's in America.

10 signs of Alzheimer’s

Learn to recognize the difference between symptoms of the disease and age-related changes.

Understand the Signs

Asian Americans at risk

Studies indicate that Asian Americans exhibit a lower likelihood of developing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia compared to other racial groups. Only 18% of Asian Americans are aware of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which makes it harder for individuals or families to recognize the symptoms and seek professional care.

Additional research is necessary to understand the prevalence of the disease in this community.

Factors that could contribute include:
  There are things you can do to lower your risk of cognitive decline. Learn about 10 healthy habits you can adopt to positively impact your brain health.

Service providers can strengthen services for Asian Americans living with or at risk of Alzheimer's and other dementia, as outlined in these reports:

Participate in a clinical trial

While almost all (93%) Asian Americans trust health care providers, more than half (54%) of Asian Americans are not interested in participating in clinical research because they do not want to be "guinea pigs." 

Volunteering for a research study may benefit you directly and help researchers find a new treatment or a cure. Learn more about participating in research studies and finding a clinical trial that makes sense for you.

Conversations around equity and dementia

Carl V. Hill, Ph.D., MPH, Alzheimer’s Association chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, hosts virtual conversations to explore the impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia within Asian American families:

Watch: Van Ta Park, Ph.D., MPH, discusses her research on mental health, caregiving and Alzheimer’s and dementia. Park is a professor at the University of California San Francisco in the Department of Community Health Systems.

Watch: Oanh Meyer, Ph.D., discusses her research on links between trauma and dementia in the Vietnamese community.

Meyer is an associate adjunct professor and principal investigator with the Diversity and Disparities Lab at the Alzheimer's Disease Center, University of California - Davis. Meyer began researching cultural barriers to care while acting as a caregiver to her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

The challenges she encountered — even as a U.S. born, fluent English-speaking person — helped her understand the difficulties many non-English speaking caregivers and patients experience. For example, most medical and legal paperwork lists people by personal name first, family name second. Among immigrants from cultures who say family name first, personal name second, such as Vietnamese, paperwork can create confusion.

Volunteer in your community

"Be open about your struggles."

Korean American journalist, CNN correspondent and Alzheimer's Association Celebrity Champion Amara Walker talks about facing her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis as the disease progresses.

Read Amara's Story

You can help people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their caregivers by becoming a volunteer. There is a range of community-based roles where you can lend support, such as:

  • Community representative.
  • Data entry or tech support volunteer.
  • Public policy advocate.
  • Social engagement leader.
  • And more.
Learn about volunteer opportunities at the Alzheimer's Association.

Read this personal story from volunteer Alzheimer's educator Joanne Hsu, of Tzu Chi, an Alzheimer's Association partner, about how her family was affected by Alzheimer’s, and why education is key to reaching Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in need of resources and support: Tzu Chi Alzheimer’s Education Volunteer Shares Inspiration for Educating Her Community

Association partnerships

At the Alzheimer's Association, we believe that diverse perspectives are critical to achieving health equity — meaning that all communities have a fair and just opportunity for early diagnosis and access to risk reduction and quality care. The Association is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved communities and responding with resources and education to address the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The Alzheimer's Association actively partners with aligned organizations to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in Alzheimer's prevention and treatment. Our partners dedicating to serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander community include:

Learn more about the Association’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and about its partnerships.


Find help, support and local resources

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia, you are not alone. The Alzheimer's Association is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, referral and support to millions of people affected by the disease.

  • Locate your local Alzheimer's Association office.
  • The Alzheimer’s Association is here all day, every day for people facing Alzheimer’s and other dementia through our free 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900). Talk to a dementia expert now and get confidential emotional support, local resources, crisis assistance and information in over 200 languages. It's ok if you don't know where to start. Just give us a call and we'll guide you from there.
  • Whether you’re living with memory loss or caring for someone who is, ALZNavigator, an online interactive tool, will guide you to your next steps.
  • Resources for people living with Alzheimer’s: Learn more about your diagnosis, what to expect and ways to navigate everyday life at each stage of the disease.
  • Resources for caregivers: Learn how to prepare for caregiving and sustaining your own mental, physical and emotional health.
  • The Alzheimer's Association offers additional information on Alzheimer's, seeking medical care and caregiving in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.