(CNN)Whether or not you can read and write could be a factor in your ability to stave off dementia as you grow older, according to a new study from scientists at Columbia University.
Illiterate people are twice as likely to develop dementia, study says
They published their results Wednesday in the online issue of the journal Neurology.
Researchers studied 983 adults over age 65 living in New York City's Washington Heights area who had four or less years of schooling.
Visiting the participants' homes, the scientists performed tests of the memory, language and visual or spatial abilities. During those visits, they made dementia diagnoses based on the standard criteria.
The illiterate part