Does cynicism raise risk of dementia?
A new study has found that risk of developing dementia may be higher in people with a cynical perspective on life—characterized by the belief that others are motivated by selfish interests.
Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio recruited almost 1,500 people with an average age of 71. The participants were given tests for dementia, symptoms of which lead to impaired intellectual functioning and are caused by disorders that affect the brain. They were then asked to fill out questionnaires that assessed levels of cynical distrust, which were categorized as either low, moderate or high. During a period of eight years, 46 people were diagnosed with dementia.
After the study period, the researchers concluded that the individuals with the highest levels of cynical distrust were as much as three times more likely to develop dementia than those with low or moderate levels. The findings, published in the journal Neurology, suggest that people’s view on life and other’s personalities may have an impact on their health.
Researchers said that further studies on the link between cynicism and dementia may help provide better understanding of how to reduce risks of dementia.