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Keeping healthy 'prevents dementia'

Taking care of your overall health could be key to preventing the onset of Alzheimer's, research suggests.

Scientists in Canada looked at 7,239 men and women over the age of 65 without Alzheimer's or other types of dementia.

The participants were assessed after five and 10 years and asked about 19 health issues not previously associated with dementia, including broken bones, sight or hearing problems, arthritis and bladder complaints.

The study found that health problems increased a person's odds of developing dementia by 3.2%.

Older people with a general clean bill of health at the start of the study were found to have an 18% chance of developing dementia after 10 years, but the risk increased to between 30% and 40% for those with between eight and 12 health problems, the study found.

The results have been published online in the journal Neurology.

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