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Neurological Disorders Channel
Reported October 11, 2011

Healthy Thinking Prevents Dementia?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Can you avoid dementia by thinking healthy? According to a new study, people who rate their health as poor or fair appear to be significantly more likely to develop dementia later in life.

At the start of the study, 8,169 people age 65 years or older were asked to rate their health and were followed for nearly seven years. During the study, 618 people developed dementia. The risk of dementia was 70 percent higher in people who rated their health as poor and 34 percent higher in people who rated their health as fair compared to those who rated their health as good.

"Having people rate their own health may be a simple tool for doctors to determine a person's risk of dementia, especially for people with no symptoms or memory problems," study author Christophe Tzourio, MD, PhD was quoted saying.

The study also showed that the association between people's health ratings and developing dementia was even stronger for those who did not have any memory problems or other issues with thinking skills. Among those with no cognitive problems, those who rated their health as poor were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia as those who rated their health as good.

"We know that having a large social network and social activities are associated with a decreased risk of dementia. Therefore, it's possible that rating one's health as poor might be associated with behaviors that limit social interaction and in turn accelerate the dementia process," study author Christophe Tzourio, MD, PhD was quoted saying.

SOURCE: Neurology, October 5, 2011

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