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November 2005

The Terms Latino and Anglo and Tendency to Early Alzheimer Disease—Reply

Arch Neurol. 2005;62(11):1787-1788. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.11.1787-b

In reply

Dr Rivera makes an important point in emphasizing the remarkable genetic heterogeneity encompassed by the ethnic term Latino. In recognition of this, we felt it highly unlikely any differences found would have a genetic basis and made no attempt to categorize participants using variables that might have genetic implications. The 2 groups were classified according to US Census 2000 criteria.1 The primary qualifier for Latinos was self-identification with a Spanish-speaking nationality (Spanish was the preferred language for all), but Latinos could self-identify as any race (ie, white, black, American Indian, etc). For Anglos, the primary qualifier was a white racial self-designation, non-Hispanic ethnic self-designation, and English as their primary language. We originally suspected that an imbalance in comorbid conditions, including depression, would explain at least a portion of any group differences in age at symptom onset and were surprised it could not be demonstrated statistically.