Dementia Research in the Caribbean Hispanic Islands: Present Findings and Future Trends

Daisy Acosta, Jorge J. Llibre-Guerra, Ivonne Z. Jiménez-Velázquez, Juan J. Llibre-Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the last decade, the Caribbean Hispanic islands experienced accelerated demographic aging, representing the fastest aging region within Latin America. Age-related non-communicable diseases, including dementia, are now reported at high prevalence. The Caribbean islands share similar genetic ancestry, culture, migration patterns, and risk profiles, providing a unique setting to understand dementia in the Caribbean-Hispanics. This perspective article aimed to describe the impact of dementia in the Caribbean, at a local and regional level and reflect on research strategies to address dementia. We report on 10/66 project findings, described research projects and regional plans for the region. According to our results, the prevalence of dementia in the Caribbean is the highest in Latin America, with 11.7% in Dominican Republic, 11.6% in Puerto Rico, and 10.8% in Cuba. Preliminary data from new waves of the 10/66 study shows increasing numbers of dementia cases. Furthermore, dementia is expected to be one of the most serious medical and social issues confronted by Caribbean health systems. However, there is a scarcity of knowledge, awareness, and health services to deal with this public health crisis. In light of the new evidence, local and regional strategies are underway to better understand dementia trends for the region and develop policies aimed to decrease the impact of dementia. Implementation of our national plans is critical to deal with an aging population with high dementia rates. Current recommendations include emphasizing public health prevention campaigns to address modifiable risk factors and expand support to caregiver and family interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number611998
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 18 2021

Keywords

  • Caribbean hispanics
  • dementia
  • incidence
  • prevalence
  • regional policies

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