HealthDay News – Cynical distrust in late life may be associated with mortality and dementia, although the correlations are affected by confounders, according to researchers.

“Higher cynical distrust in late life was associated with higher mortality, but this association was explained by socioeconomic position, lifestyle, and health status,” wrote Elisa Neuvonen and colleagues from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. Their findings were published in Neurology.

To examine the correlation between late-life cynical distrust and incident dementia and mortality, researchers used data from 622 patients (46 cases of dementia) for dementia analysis and available data from 1,146 patients (361 deaths) for mortality analysis. The researchers adjusted for confounders including age, sex, BMI, systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, total cholesterol, socioeconomic background, smoking, alcohol use, self-reported health, and APEO genotype.

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In the crude analyses, cynical distrust was not associated with dementia, but after an adjustment for confounders, those with the highest level of cynical distrust had a significantly increased risk of dementia (RR, 3.13). In the crude analyses, higher cynical distrust correlated with higher mortality (HR, 1.40; 95% CI: 1.05-1.87), but after adjustment for confounders, the correlation was attenuated (HR, 1.19; 95% CI: 0.86-1.61).

“Association between cynical distrust and incident dementia became evident when confounders were considered. This novel finding suggests that both psychosocial and lifestyle-related risk factors may be modifiable targets for interventions,” wrote the researchers.


  1. Neuvonen E et al. Neurology. 2014; doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000528