Maintaining overall health can reduce risk of developing dementia


July 14, 2011

A recent study conducted by scientists at the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, found evidence that suggests that aging adults who take care of all aspects of their health may be less likely to develop dementia.

The researchers asked more than 7,000 older individuals about health problems, such as arthritis, denture-related issues, stomach and bladder problems, broken bones and foot and ankle-related troubles. They found that the risk of dementia increased about 3.2 percent per medical problem compared to individuals who did not have any of the issues.

"Our study suggests that rather than just paying attention to already known risk factors for dementia, such as diabetes or heart disease, keeping up with your general health may help reduce the risk for dementia," said Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, one of the leading researchers.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health reports that dementia can cause cognitive impairment and affect memory and perception. Loss of these abilities can increase the risk of falls and other accidents that could cause injuries. A senior alert system can be useful for older individuals who suffer from dementia. If a dementia patient falls while he or she is alone, a medical alert system gets help by contacting an emergency response team.

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