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Canadian study finds link between dementia and wide range of health problems

Published 14 July 2011

Improving and maintaining health factors not traditionally associated with dementia, such as denture fit, vision and hearing, may lower a person’s risk for developing dementia according to a new study

The new study was published in Neurology® online yesterday (13 July 2011).

The study, by Dalhousie University, examined 7,239 people free of dementia ages 65 and older from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. After five and 10 years, they were evaluated for all types of dementia. The study found that health problems increased a person's odds of developing dementia by 3.2 per cent. Older adults without health problems had an 18 percent chance of developing dementia in 10 years, while the risk increased to 30 and 40 percent in those who had eight to 12 health problems.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'This large study highlights a link between general health concerns in older people and their risk of dementia and may have implications for the way dementia research is performed in the future. It is important to remember that general health problems may be part of the early signs of dementia, and are not necessarily the cause of the dementia. This finding emphasises the importance of regular health checks for people over 65.

We have known for some time that the best way of reducing your risk of dementia is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked all make a big difference, especially in mid-life.'


Dr Anne Corbett
Research Manager
Alzheimer's Society

Research Reference:

To read more about the study visit http://www.aan.com