Healthy Living

Apr 24, 2014 1:11 PM by NBC News

Mental decline may lead to earlier death

Seniors experiencing mental decline may die sooner than those without such problems.

A new study out of the Mayo Clinic followed 2,000 adults over age 70 for six years. They underwent regular tests of their memory and thinking abilities.

Researchers found people with declining language, attention and decision-making skills had double the risk of death compared to those without any mental decline.

Seniors who only experienced memory loss did not have as high a risk for death.

Researchers say underlying conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, may contribute to a decline in mental health. Those illnesses also carry an increased risk for premature death.

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