Low education and childhood rural residence: Risk for Alzheimer's disease in African Americans

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Objective: To examine the relationship between level of education and childhood rural residence as possible risk factors for AD in African Americans in Indianapolis. Background: Low level of education has been a risk factor for AD in some studies, but childhood rural residence has not been addressed in most of these studies. Methods: A two-stage community-based prevalence study of AD was conducted in a random sample of 2,212 African Americans ≥65 years of age. A subsample of clinically assessed normal individuals (180) and individuals diagnosed with AD (43) were compared on the variables of rural/urban residence in childhood and low (≤ years) or high (≥7 years) education. A logistic regression model was used with interaction between rural residence and low education to estimate odds ratios for the two risk factors combined, adjusting for age and gender. Results: Odds ratios for AD: 6.5 (95% CI: 2.6 to 16.7) low education/rural residence; 0.5 (95% CI: 0.1 to 2.9) low education/urban residence; 1.5 (95% CI: 0.4 to 5.2) high education/rural residence, comparing with the group of high education/urban residence. Conclusion: Childhood rural residence, combined with ≤6 years of school, was associated with an increased risk of AD in this sample. It is possible that low education by itself is not a major risk factor for AD, but, rather, is a marker for other accompanying deleterious socioeconomic or environmental influences in childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2000


  • AD
  • African Americans
  • Childhood rural residence
  • Education
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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