Poverty was closely associated with higher rates of dementia among older adults in Afghanistan, according to a newly published study by Jean-Francois Trani, an associate professor at the Brown School.
The results suggest that addressing education, health, employment and living conditions earlier in life can have an impact on dementia risk in later life, particularly in countries that are frequently in crisis, such as Afghanistan.
“It’s important to start now to understand the causes of dementia so we can change policy to benefit people who will age in the coming decades,” Trani said. “The problem of dementia is growing in low- and middle-income countries, and we can’t explain it just by genetic factors. This research is urgent and it has to be global.”
The study was part of a larger project looking at social determinants of health associated with the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and South Africa. The research team collected information among adults over 50 in two Afghan provinces between February and April 2022, examining multiple dimensions of deprivation.
Read more about the work on the Brown School website.