FFE Magazine

Do you often distrust others? Beware of a health Risk

30may dementia cynicism

Do you have the tendency to distrust others? If so, be warned about this health risk.


In a study to see what factors could influence dementia or the severe decline in mental ability, researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found out that cynicism or distrust may lead to higher risk of developing the brain disease.


The researchers measured levels of cynical distrust in 1998 among 622 volunteers with an average age of 71. They rated the volunteers’ agreement to statements like ‘I think people would lie to get ahead’ and ‘it is safer to trust nobody,’ then checked the instance of dementia among the volunteers a decade later.


Of the 164 people who showed high levels of cynical distrust in 1998, 14 developed dementia. Meanwhile, the instance of dementia was lower with the 212 people who showed low levels of cynical distrust, with only 9 developing the disease.


Research lead Dr Anna-Maija Tolppanen explained that differences in personality traits, such being cynical, can affect a person’s level of engagement with certain activities, including activities that strengthen mental health. She commented ‘These results add to the evidence that people’s view on life and personality may have an impact on their health.’


Alzheimer’s Research UK head Dr Simon Ridley commented that studies like these can help ‘our understanding of what might affect disease development.’ However, he said it would help if the study could be re-done in a larger scale.


Dr Tolppanen agreed and said other factors related to dementia like depression were not considered in the original study. She said it was ‘really important’ to do the study again to prove the link.


Dementia refers to the decline in mental ability that comes in the form of memory loss, degradation of thinking skills and problems in reasoning and communication. Alzheimer’s disease is one form of dementia. Meanwhile, a separate study on trust suggested that higher level of trust toward others is a sign of higher intelligence.



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