1. Headline
  1. Headline
By
updated 10/5/2011 6:29:42 PM ET 2011-10-05T22:29:42

Thinking that you are in poor health may increase your risk for dementia, a new study suggests.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Why I run: TODAY's Erica Hill inspired by dad's battle with cancer

      This Sunday, I’m running the New York City Marathon, a distance I swore I’d never tackle again after two very tough races ...

    2. See Ellen DeGeneres send terrified staffers through haunted house
    3. Celebs guess: Who will TODAY be for Halloween 2014?
    4. Brittany Maynard to her husband: 'My heart is so full of love for you'
    5. Working from home: 'Office' star Jenna Fischer shares selfie with baby

People in the study 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 study found.

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 risk of dementia, especially for people with no symptoms or memory problems," said study researcher Christophe Tzourio, of the University of Bordeaux 2 in France.

  1. MyHealthNewsDaily
    1. Workers Want Employers to Help Them Stay Healthy
    2. Girls Struggle More When Friends Let Them Down
    3. Psychotherapy May Help Teens with Fibromyalgia
    4. Collective Brands Recalls KEDS Girls' Shoes

The study is published today (Oct. 5) in the journal Neurology.

At the start of the study, 8,169 people age 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 percent higher in people who rated their health as poor, and 34 percent 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 behaviors 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.

Pass it on: People who rate their health as poor are at increased risk of dementia, a study says.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily on Twitter @MyHealth_MHND. Find us on Facebook.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Brittany Diaz via Facebook

    Brittany Maynard to her husband: 'My heart is so full of love for you'

    10/30/2014 8:27:16 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T20:27:16
  1. TODAY

    video Celebs guess: Who will TODAY be for Halloween 2014?

    10/30/2014 7:32:19 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T19:32:19
  1. Courtesy of Erica Hill

    Why I run: Erica Hill inspired by dad’s battle with cancer

    10/30/2014 7:08:23 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T19:08:23
  1. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    At Home with TODAY: Jenna Wolfe shows the love in Harper's nursery

    10/30/2014 11:37:28 AM +00:00 2014-10-30T11:37:28
  1. @msjennafischer via Instagram

    Working from home: 'Office' star Jenna Fischer shares selfie with baby

    10/30/2014 11:01:20 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T23:01:20