Saturday 19 January 2019
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Self-assessed poor health could be an indicator of dementia risk

People who rate their health as poor or fair are significantly more likely to develop dementia later in life according to a study published online in Neurology Wednesday 5 October.

Researchers from the University of Bordeaux in France found that people who rated their health as poor were 70 per cent more likely while those with self-rated fair health were 34 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those who rated their health as good.

The study asked 8,169 people aged 65 or older to rate their health and followed them for nearly seven years. During this time, 618 people developed dementia.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'As this study shows once again, keeping in tip top health will not only have short term gain but could significantly reduce our risk of dementia. It is therefore important that people manage any medical conditions they have, maintain a healthy lifestyle and have regular check ups with their GP.

However, although we have established the link between poor health and dementia, we do not yet have the scientific know-how to say for certain who will go on to develop dementia. More research is needed to increase our understanding of the brain and to develop new diagnostic tools. If this is to happen, we must invest in dementia research now.'

Dr Anne Corbett

Research Manager

Alzheimer's Society