Rural Residents More Likely to Get Alzheimer's
A new study sees double the risk for lifelong country dwellers
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2012 3:50 PM CDT
The brain of an Alzheimer's patient.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Another medical study is out knocking the rural life. After one last week said rural residents were more likely to be obese, we get one from the UK saying they're twice as likely to get Alzheimer's, too, report the Daily Mail and the Telegraph. Edinburgh University researchers came to the conclusion after looking at dozens of papers with medical data on more than 12,000 people around the world, including the US.

The next step is to figure out why. "We don't really know the mechanism," says one scientist. "It could be to do with access to health care, exposure to some unknown substance, socioeconomic factors, or a number of other factors." The correlation is worse for those who live their whole life in the country, rather than those who move there in later years.

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Sep 20, 2012 6:18 PM CDT
I don't see the connection with rural living and obesity. I have 16 acres and it keeps me busy just taking care of the place. Not sure how I'd be able to take care of the place if I was fat and lazy. While I might need to jump in the truck [or on the tractor] to go to the mailbox, there is plenty of walking to do on the property. I suspect if I was stuck in town in a condo or subdivison, obesity might become a problem. There is just to much to do living in a rural setting. I can see a possible connection with alzheimers and rural living as you might have a greater exposure to pesticides and fertilizers.... but there isn't any smog to put up with. Both my father and his mother died with alzheimers. Considering the possiblity of getting it myself is scary!
Sep 19, 2012 2:38 PM CDT
Everyone I know in the country or burbs has an auto, and use it to drive everywhere. In the city, lots of people do not have an auto. Even when they do, they have to park and get out and walk several blocks. The exercise city people get, lowers obesity. The restaurants they go to serve exotic foods that invite a wider palette and the consumption of more fruits and veggies. And the rural areas in America have often been sold out by some "boss hog", who gives corporations etc... permission to dump chemicals. Add that into the farm chemical residue, and see what happens.
Sep 19, 2012 12:12 PM CDT
Some rural areas are absolutely filthy with pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers. It is in the soil, the air, and the water.