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Study: Midlife Stress May Mean Later-Life Dementia

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study in Sweden has linked certain types of stress in midlife to dementia later on in life, even if the patient did not report feelings of distress.

The study, published in the journal BMJ, evaluated 800 middle-aged women in 1968 and over the next 37 years, reassessed them for signs of distress or dementia. Researchers found that those patients who had more "psychosocial" stressors, such as divorce, widowhood, or alcohol abuse in a spouse or close relative, were more likely to develop dementia later in life.

Previous studies had linked self-reported feelings of distress to dementia, but the BMJ study found that while patients may have varying thresholds for reporting feelings of distress, the body's reaction to stressors remains the same.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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