Is Cynicism Linked to Dementia, Death?

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Is Cynicism Linked to Dementia, Death?
Is Cynicism Linked to Dementia, Death?

(HealthDay News) — Cynical distrust in late life may be associated with mortality and dementia, although the correlations are affected by confounders, according to a study published online May 28 in Neurology.

Elisa Neuvonen, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues examined the correlations between late-life cynical distrust and incident dementia and mortality. Dementia analyses included data on exposure, outcome, and confounders for 622 individuals (46 cases of dementia), while data were available for 1,146 individuals (361 deaths) for the mortality analyses. Confounders included age, sex, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, total cholesterol, socioeconomic background, smoking, alcohol use, self-reported heath, and APOE genotype.

The researchers found that, in the crude analyses, cynical distrust was not associated with dementia, but after adjustment for confounders, those with the highest level of cynical distrust had a significantly increased risk of dementia (relative risk, 3.13). In the crude analyses, higher cynical distrust correlated with higher mortality (hazard ratio, 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05–1.87), but after adjustment for confounders, the correlation was attenuated (hazard ratio, 1.19; 95% confidence interval, 0.86–1.61).

"This novel finding suggests that both psychosocial and lifestyle-related risk factors may be modifiable targets for interventions," the authors write. "We acknowledge the need for larger replication studies."

Abstract
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Cynical Distrust Scale: Greenglass ER, Julkunen J. Construct validity and sex differences in Cook-Medley hostility. Person Ind Diff 1989; 10:209-18.

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