BOSTON (CBS) — One of the first signs of dementia in some older patients is the onset of anxiety, but does having anxiety actually put someone at higher risk of developing dementia? A new study from the United Kingdom says it is possible.

The researchers looked at four prior studies involving more than 30,000 patients and found that moderate to severe anxiety in midlife was associated with an increased risk of developing dementia at least 10 years later.

They say cognitive decline could be triggered by the body’s response to stress, but researchers now need to follow middle-aged people with anxiety over time to see if they, in fact, are more likely to develop dementia, and if so, try to figure out whether treating the anxiety can help prevent dementia.

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