Wealth a winner in preventing dementia

In what will be seen as a blow to cryptic crossword compilers the world over, it appears wealth is a better determinant of whether you keep your marbles than education.

In a UK prospective study of over 6000 adults aged over 65 years, researchers found those people in the lowest quintile in terms of socioeconomic status were almost 70% more likely to get dementia than those categorised to be in the top fifth, over a 12 year follow-up period. Depressingly, this finding held true regardless of education level.

“This longitudinal cohort study found that wealth in late life, but not education, was associated with increased risk of dementia, suggesting people with fewer financial resources were at higher risk,” the study authors said.

On further analysis, researchers found the association between wealth, or the lack thereof and dementia was even more pronounced in the younger participants in the cohort.

So what did the researchers think was the reason behind the link between poverty and dementia?

One explanation was that having money allowed one to access more mentally stimulating environments including cultural resources (reading, ...

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