Health

Stress in Middle Age and Alzheimer’s

Stress in Middle Age and Alzheimer’s featured image

Do you have a lot of day-today stress in your life? A Swedish study finds that for middle-aged women, that can raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease .

The team at Gothenberg university followed 800 women for nearly 40 years, starting when they were in their late 30s to early 50s. The women underwent regular psychiatric exams and answered questions about stressors like divorce, job strain and health problems in the family.

Over 37 years, 19 percent of the women developed dementia — most often Alzheimer’s disease. The study concluded their risk climbed 17 percent with each of the stressors that they had reported four decades earlier.

Other studies have tied heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, to Alzheimer’s, and lower income and education levels have also been linked to the disease. And there has been research that focused on the possible effects of stress from more-severe traumas. This study looked at what researchers called “common” stressors. They say it’s interesting that the number of  those stressors in a woman’s life seemed to matter, regardless of whether she felt “stressed out” by them.

The big question is can efforts to reduce stress in your life can also trim the risk of Alzheimer’s later on.

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