Heterogeneous Effects of Education on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia among Demographic Groups

Project: Research project

Project Details


PROJECT SUMMARYThe protective effect of education against Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) is found to besmaller for racial/ethnic minority individuals than for non-Hispanic White individuals. Identifying factors thatmodify or mediate the education-ADRD relationship presents a unique opportunity to address the racial/ethnicdisparities in ADRD and ultimately improve population health. However, most research relies on respondents’education to assess the education-ADRD relationship, failing to consider the roles of other family member’seducation or the social context and environment in which education occurs and affects ADRD. The major goalof the proposed research is to develop a novel framework that incorporates multigenerational education andmultidomain contextual measures and use it to clarify the heterogeneous effects of education on ADRD riskamong racial/ethnic groups by analyzing nationally representative longitudinal data. We propose to achieve thisgoal through three specific aims. In Aim 1, we will develop a multigenerational framework and use it to estimatethe effect of multigenerational education on the respondent’s ADRD risk and the racial/ethnic disparities. Aim 2is to construct multidomain contextual measures of structural inequality and racism and estimate their effects onindividual’s ADRD risk and the racial/ethnic disparities. To provide historical and population contexts forunderstanding results from Aims 1 and 2, in Aim 3 we will estimate how education effects on ADRD risk maydiffer across four birth cohorts.The proposed research is significant because it will help reduce racial/ethnic disparities in cognitive impairmentand ADRD risk by clarifying multigenerational pathways and identifying mediators and modifiers of theheterogeneous education-ADRD relationships among demographic groups. The proposed research isinnovative because it will develop a new multigenerational and multilevel mediation approach to understandingwhy the education-ADRD risk relationship differs among racial/ethnic groups. It will also contribute newcontextual data to a nationally representative data set.
Effective start/end date9/1/226/30/23


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