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U.S. dementia rates are decreasing among older adults, falling from 12.2% in 2000 to 8.5% in 2016, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, a long-term national survey that includes information on respondents' health status, socioeconomic status, demographics, and cognitive ability, researchers examined trends in dementia prevalence in adults ages 65 and older and in specific subgroups. Women continue to suffer higher rates of dementia, but the difference is narrowing as the decrease in rates among women dropped more than the decrease in rates among men. Education plays an important role in the declining rate of dementia. The researchers state that the sizable increase in educational levels during this time period accounted for 40% of the decrease seen in men and about 20% of that seen in women. Despite the decrease in rates for all populations, disparities persist; along with women and those with less education, racial and ethnic minoritized groups continue to suffer dementia at higher rates.