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New grant funding targets Alzheimer’s disease in African Americans

A victory for the Senate Democrat caucus leader.

Effective Monday, state funding will be available to help reduce Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among African Americans.

HB 1045 makes those conditions eligible for the Closing the Gap program.

Some estimates are that African Americans get the disease at double the rate of whites, an incidence rate that can be attributed to lifestyle factors, such as diet.

“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Available information suggests the debilitating disease likely develops from many factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and the environment, with age being the greatest known risk factor,” asserted Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville.

“Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent among African-Americans than among whites, with estimates ranging from 14 percent to almost 100 percent higher. Data studies suggest that high cholesterol and high blood pressure may be significant risk factors. These two factors also have high occurrence in African-Americans and people of color. I want to thank the Governor for signing this important legislation,” Gibson added.

Rep. Kamia Brown, an Orlando Democrat, added that “over 5 million people in the U.S. are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and the cumulative risk of dementia among first-degree relatives of African-Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease is 43.7 percent.”

“This bill will add funding directed to decreasing disparities and mortality rates relating to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” said Brown.

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