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Worse general health 'increases dementia risk'

Worse general health 'increases dementia risk'
14th July 2011

A combination of health factors not usually associated with dementia could predict the neurodegenerative condition better than already detected risk factors, according to a new study.

Researchers at Dalhousie University in Canada found that conditions including arthritis, skin problems, hearing and vision difficulties and badly fitting dentures all contributed to the likelihood of dementia.

Authors concluded that accumulating any health deficit, even those unconnected with dementia, appeared to increase the risk of developing the condition by more than three per cent.

Study co-author Kenneth Rockwood said: "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."

This comes after a survey by the Alzheimer's Society revealed that dementia is not taken seriously enough.

Results showed that the neurodegenerative condition is the most joked about illness, despite the fact that fewer than one in ten people find dementia-based humour acceptable.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.