Thinking of good health may cut your dementia risk

Washington: Do you think you are in good health? Then, your risk of developing dementia is very lower, scientists say.

A team of researchers at the University of Bordeaux, in France found that people who rated their health as poor or fair were significantly more likely to develop dementia later
in life than those who reported being in good health.

The link was strongest among people who did not have any cognitive problems, where those who rated their health as poor were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia as those who rated their health as good, the researchers said.

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

At the start of the study, published in the journal Neurology, more than 8,000 people aged 65 years or older were asked to rate their health, and over the next seven years, 618 of them developed dementia.

The risk of dementia was 70 per cent higher in people who rated their health as poor, and 34 per cent higher in people who rated their health as fair, compared with 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," Tzourio said.

"Therefore, it`s possible that rating one`s health as poor might be associated with behaviours that limit social interaction, and in turn, accelerate the dementia process."

Other studies have shown people who rate their own health as poor are more likely to develop or die from vascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke, than people who rate
their health as good.


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