Dementia risk predictable through self-rated health

Dementia risk could be predicted by asking people to rate their own health, a French research study suggests.

Alzheimer's risk was linked to the self-rating of health (Photograph: SPL)

Researchers said self-rated health could be a simple tool to determine health risk.

Dr Christophe Tzourio and colleagues studied 8,169 people aged over 65 years who were living in the community.

At the start of the study, participants were asked to rate their own health. They were then assessed an average of 6.7 years later and 618 were found to have developed dementia.

Compared with those who rated their health as good, those rating their health as poor had a 70 per cent higher risk of developing dementia. Those rating their health as fair had a 34 per cent higher risk of developing dementia.

The researchers found that Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia were both associated with poor self-rated health, though the association was stronger for vascular dementia. However, self-rated health was a stronger predictor of dementia in people without cognitive complaints or functional disability.

The researchers said: 'Our data suggest that a simple self-rated health question could raise awareness about a patient's risk of dementia, particularly in those without conditions that are indicative of possible cognitive difficulties, such as cognitive complaints or disabilities.'

The researchers said studies should look at interventions for managing patients with poor self-rated health, such as controlling vascular risk and stimulating cognitive abilities.

GP Online recommends

Neurology 2011

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

phone and laptop

Blanket rollout of patient record access programme halted

Plans to roll out access for all patients to prospective entries to their GP medical...

GP sign

Scottish GP capacity hits lowest point in more than a decade

Scotland has lost 3% of its full-time equivalent (FTE) GP workforce since 2019 -...


GPs fear funding cuts and sidelining of LMCs as ICS model beds in

GPs fear hospital trust overspends could become 'general practice's problem' as representation...

Doctor on a computer

3 reasons why recruiting with GP Jobs makes your life easier

How GP Jobs can help you fill vacancies in your practice.

Amoxicillin antibiotic drug capsules

Viewpoint: How can we reduce antibiotic prescribing?

Dr Anita Sharma, who has been involved with several antibiotic prescribing initiatives...

Person typing on laptop

Complaints against GPs up 37% compared with pre-pandemic levels

Written complaints about GP practices have surged by more than a third compared with...