Race, Genetic Admixture, and Cognitive Performance in the Cuban Population

Jorge J. Llibre-Guerra, Yan Li, Isabel Elaine Allen, Juan C. Llibre-Guerra, Ana M. Rodríguez Salgado, Ana Ibis Penãlver, Arianna Almirall Sanchez, Jennifer S. Yokoyama, Lea Grinberg, Victor Valcour, Bruce L. Miller, Juan J. Llibre-Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Population aging will lead to a dramatic increase in dementia prevalence, which will disproportionally affect racial minorities. The presence of racial differences in dementia prevalence has been widely reported in United States, but there are no relevant studies on this topic in low- A nd middle-income countries. Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, 2944 older Cubans were recruited at a community-based level aimed to identify the effects of self-identified race and genetic admixture on cognitive performance. Dementia diagnosis was established using 10/66 Dementia and DSM-IV criteria. APOE-ϵ4 genotype was determined in 2511 (85%) and genetic admixture was completed for all dementia cases and in a randomly selected sample of cognitive healthy participants (218 dementia cases and 367 participants without dementia). Results: The overall prevalence of dementia was 8.7%, without large or statistically significant differences on dementia prevalence (p =. 12) by self-identified race. Mean cognitive scores were similar across racial groups (p =. 46). After controlling for age, sex, and education, greater proportion of African ancestry was not associated with cognitive performance (p =. 17). Conclusions: We found no evidence of an independent effect of self-identified race and/or population ancestry on dementia prevalence or cognitive performance. This suggests that observed differences in dementia prevalence among diverse populations may be driven primarily by social determinants of health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Ancestry background
  • Cognitive aging


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