Asian Americans are less likely than other groups to have Alzheimer's. Only 18% of Asian Americans are aware of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which can be an early stage of Alzheimer's. 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.
One in four (25%) of Asian Americans report a lack of family support as a barrier.
Almost half (45%) of Asian Americans believe that medical research is biased against people of color.
Only 12% of Asian Americans report that they have no barriers to excellent Alzheimer's and dementia care.
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.
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.
Asian Americans at risk
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.
Research suggests that Asian Americans are less likely than other racial groups to develop Alzheimer's or other dementia, but additional research is necessary to understand prevalence of the disease in this community.
However, Korean Americans may be at risk of Alzheimer's
through lifestyle factors, such as high levels of alcohol and tobacco use. Language barriers for some Korean Americans may limit access to health care and health insurance.
This video from the National Institutes of Health features interviews on the gaps in access to care
for Alzheimer's and other dementia among Asian Americans. Oanh Meyer, Ph.D., researches cultural barriers to care
. For example, most physician offices and medical or 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, this can create confusion.
Korean American journalist, CNN correspondent and Alzheimer's Association Celebrity Champion Amara Walker raises Alzheimer's awareness by sharing her family's personal story. Read Amara's story, in her own words
Perceptions of clinical trials
Almost all (93%) of Asian Americans trust health care providers
Slightly over half (54%) of Asian Americans who are not interested in participating in clinical research say that they do not want to be "guinea pigs." The second most common reason (43%) was time and cost, followed by 32% concerned that the treatment might cause illness.
For more information, please see our special 2021 report on Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer's in America
Serving the community
There are many ways to strengthen services for Asian Americans living with or at risk of Alzheimer's and other dementia, outlined in the report Strengthening Community-Based Services for Asian American and Pacific Islanders Affected by Dementia
. Kathy Lee, Ph.D., is developing an app
for informal caregivers, inspired by apps
that are popular among Asian Americans.
Van Ta Park Ph.D., notes the importance of understanding unique cultural groups
within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Asian Americans may have origins in any of the 48 countries that comprise Asia, and there are significant cultural differences within these countries. The Alzheimer's Association offers some additional information on Alzheimer's, seeking medical care and caregiving in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese
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 partnerships and our commitment
to diversity, equity and inclusion.