Women Who Are More Stressed More Likely to Have Dementia

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More proof that stress is really bad for your health. The Atlantic reports a new study from the British Medical Journal finds a strong link between stress and dementia later in life for women.

The study in Sweden started in 1968 with 800 women between ages 38 and 54 reporting their stress levels periodically. Researchers identified very stressful life events such as illness of a family member, divorce and feeling alone and then monitored their intellect and behavior during times of distress. The results were startling:

Between the initial assessment in 1968 and 2006, 19.1 percent of the women developed dementia. The number of stressors women reported experiencing in 1968 was associated with long-lasting distress over the years, as well as higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia later in life.

“Increased distress could not completely explain the association between midlife stressors and dementia,” the study reads. “One reason for this is that individuals respond differently to psychosocial stressors. Thus, biological responses may develop as a reaction to psychosocial stressors also in individuals who do not experience or report increased distress in association to the stressor.”

So when you’re tempted to do just one more thing before the end of the day that’s really not necessary, just relax. You could be saving your health.

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