Understanding the Correlation Between Alzheimer’s Disease Polygenic Risk, Wealth, and the Composition of Wealth Holdings

Su Hyun Shin, University of Alabama
Dean R. Lillard , The Ohio State University
Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford University

We explore whether people save differently when they have a greater or smaller polygenic risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Using data from the 1992-2014 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find that, relative to people with lower PGS, people with higher Alzheimer’s Disease polygenic risk hold roughly 8 percent more wealth in “hands-off” assets and around 15 percent less wealth in “hands-on” assets. we explore three hypothesis. We hypothesize that people with different PGS save/allocate wealth in different ways because… H1: …they know their polygenic risk of developing ADRD; H2: …they have lower cognitive capacity (and their PGS for general cognition is correlated with the Alzheimer’s Disease PGS); H3: …the GWAS process that generated the Alzheimer’s Disease PGS failed to fully account for the aging process. Our extended model results show that the first two sets of controls do not account for the observed correlation. The interaction with age does.


 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging