Early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) accounts for 1-5% of Alzheimer's disease cases and is associated with specific ethnicities. It has been our impression that non-Ashkenazi Jews have a higher rate of EOAD and we therefore explored this hypothesis. We performed a retrospective case control study of EOAD cases referred to our cognitive neurology clinic between January 1999 and December 2016. Patients (n = 129) were compared to age- and geographically-matched controls generated from the Second Israeli National Health Survey (n = 1,811). Data on country of origin, education, dementia family history, depression, and vascular risk factors were compared between the groups. The association of non-Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and country of origin with EOAD was calculated using a logistic multivariate regression model. The EOAD group's mean age was 59.6±4.1 years, with a female predominance (64.3%). The EOAD group had a higher percentage of individuals of non-Ashkenazi Jewish origin (64.3% versus 51.4%, p = 0.003) and of Yemenite descent in particular (16.28% versus 6.24%, p < 0.001). On multiple logistic regression analysis, Yemenite Jewish origin was an independently associated with EOAD (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.4-4.8). There were no significant differences in parameters between non-Ashkenazi and Ashkenazi Jews. Only 4.6% of EOAD cases had a positive EOAD family history. In conclusion, EOAD is over-represented among non-Ashkenazi Jews. Yemenite origin is independently associated with EOAD and the majority of patients with EOAD have no family history of Alzheimer's disease. Further evaluation with genetic studies is warranted.
- Alzheimer's disease
- early onset Alzheimer's disease
- early-onset dementia
- young onset dementia