Conventional wisdom tells us that beauty is only skin deep, that looks will fade and what's underneath is what really counts when it comes to lasting love. But choosing a smart mate might be a wise move not just in the romance stakes, but in the health department too.
Scientists say that a man's environment has a significant impact on his mental longevity, and that the wife or longterm partner he chooses is a critical factor in whether or not he will develop dementia in later life.
"The thing a boy is never told he needs to do if he wants to live a longer life – but what he should do – is marry an intelligent woman. There is no better buffer than intelligence," says Professor Lawrence Whalley, emeritus professor of mental health in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, speaking at the Oxford conference called Dementia: How Can We Protect Ourselves?.
Until recently the official advice on how to ward off conditions like Alzheimer's disease has been to stay mentally alert by partaking in brain training puzzles like crosswords, reading and learning new languages and skills. But having a wife who challenges, intrigues and stimulates with her conversation can be just as effective, experts now say. So fellas, if it's a long, happy and healthy life you want - seek out the bookworms, sharp talkers and the chic geeks!