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Medical Professionals Reference (MPR)Racial/Ethnic Minorities Underrepresented in Alzheimer Neuroimaging Research

With the percentage of Black people rising from 3.39% in 1994–2017 to 8.29% in 2018–2022, sample diversity has recently improved.

A recent study published in Communications Medicine has highlighted the underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in Alzheimer’s neuroimaging research in the United States. Led by Aaron C. Lim, PhD, from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the study scrutinizes the racial and ethnic composition of participants in both direct and indirect studies, revealing significant disparities that call for immediate attention.

Key Points:
  • The study analyzed 719 direct studies and found that the median representation was 88.9% White or 87.4% non-Hispanic White, 7.3% Black/African American, and 3.4% Hispanic/Latino. No participants from other racial or ethnic groups were included.
  • In 44 cohort studies/databases that informed 1,745 indirect studies, the median representation was more diverse but still skewed: 84.2% White, 83.7% non-Hispanic White, 11.6% Black/African Americans, 4.7% Hispanic/Latino, and 1.75% Asian American.
  • Sample diversity has shown some improvement in recent years, especially for Black/African American participants, increasing from 3.39% in 1994-2017 to 8.29% in 2018-2022.
Additional Points:
  • Most of the indirect studies (94%) were derived from just 10 cohort studies/databases.

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