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Too Few Older Adults Tell Doctors About Memory Loss: Study

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
01/29/16  11:54 AM PST
Memory Loss

By E. J. Mundell for HealthDay, Medline Plus

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Do you worry that forgetting names, or where you put your keys, might be a sign of impending dementia? If you’re like most older Americans, you don’t bring this up with your doctor, a new study shows.

Researchers who looked at federal government data on more than 10,000 people found that in 2011, only 1 in 4 adults aged 45 or older discussed memory problems with a health care professional during a routine checkup.

In fact, the likelihood that a person would admit to a memory problem in a doctor’s office visit actually declined with advancing age, says a team led by Mary Adams, of On Target Health Data in West Suffield, Conn.

The findings were published Jan. 28 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

“Routine checkups are a missed opportunity for assessing and discussing memory problems for the majority of older adults,” Adams said in a journal news release.

Experts agreed that the stigma around memory loss and dementia may hold people back from discussing these issues with their physicians.

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