Positive Beliefs About Age May Protect Older Adults Against Dementia

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Positive age beliefs can act as a protective factor against dementia in older adults.
Positive age beliefs can act as a protective factor against dementia in older adults.

HealthDay News — Positive age beliefs may protect against dementia, even among older individuals with APOE ε4, according to a study published online in PLOS ONE.

Becca R. Levy, PhD, from the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT, and colleagues examined whether culture-acquired positive age beliefs are associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia among older individuals, including APOE ε4 carriers. Data were included from a cohort of 4765 Health and Retirement Study participants aged 60 years and older and dementia-free at baseline.

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The researchers found that after adjustment for covariates, participants with positive age beliefs at baseline were significantly less likely to develop dementia in the total sample. Among participants with APOE ε4, those with positive age beliefs were significantly less likely to develop dementia than those with negative age beliefs.

"The results of this study suggest that positive age beliefs, which are modifiable and have been found to reduce stress, can act as a protective factor, even for older individuals at high risk of dementia," the authors write.

Reference

Levy BR, Slade MD, Pietrzak RH, Ferrucci L. Positive age beliefs protect against dementia even among elders with high-risk gene. PLoS One. 2018;13(2):e0191004.

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