Home Off Topic

Cynicism linked to greater dementia risk, study says

Fish HaidFish Haid Posts: 8,417 Admiral
Hopefully, this doesn't apply to any of you guys!

Cynicism linked to greater dementia risk, study says

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/28/health/cynical-dementia/index.html?hpt=he_c1

CNN) -- Your spouse "had to stay late at work" -- are you skeptical? Do you think your friend doesn't like you if he cancels dinner plans? Do you suspect that your co-worker is putting her ambitions ahead of the team?

Curmudgeons of the world, listen up: This line of negative thinking might actually hurt your health.

A new study in the latest edition of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that cynical people have a higher likelihood of developing dementia.

"There have been previous studies that showed that people who were cynical were more likely to die earlier and have other poor health outcomes, but no one that we could tell ever looked at dementia," said Anna-Maija Tolppanen, one of the study's authors and a professor at the University of Eastern Finland. "We have seen some studies that show people who are more open and optimistic have a lower risk for dementia so we thought this was a good question to ask."

Cynicism is a deep mistrust of others. Psychologists consider it a kind of chronic anger that develops over time.

Specifically, the kind of cynicism researchers looked at involved doubting the truth of what people say and believing most people are motivated by self-interest rather than by what is best for the community.

The study tested 1,449 people with an average age of 71. The study participants took a test for dementia. A separate test measured their level of cynicism. Both tests are considered reliable by researchers.

The cynicism test asks if the person agrees with statements like "Most people will use somewhat unfair reasons to gain profit or an advantage rather than lose it"; "I think most people would lie to get ahead"; and "It is safer to trust nobody."

Those who agreed with the critical statements in the test were considered highly cynical. The people with the highest level of cynical distrust had a 2.54 times greater risk of dementia than those with the lowest cynicism rating.

Researchers also examined the test results to see if the subjects who were labeled highly cynical died sooner than the others. But once compounding factors were screened out, they did not. Previous studies have shown a link between cynicism and an earlier death.
23895.gif

Replies

Sign In or Register to comment.