Singles 'have greater risk of Alzheimer's disease'
31 July 2008 00:00 in Industry related health news
People who live on their own during middle age could have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.
The study found that married people and others who live with partners having regular social interactions have half the occurrence of dementia.
And people who had been single all their life had a doubled risk of dementia while divorcees who remained single had a tripled risk.
Widowers before midlife who remained widowed had a six times higher risk of developing dementia compared with those who remain married throughout mid and late life.
The findings emerged from a study of 1,449 Finns and were independent of other risk factors.
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, described the findings as "particularly worrying" for the UK as it has a high divorce rate, an ageing population and marriage at an all-time low.
"This is the first study of its kind to examine the link between midlife marital status and dementia, adding to previous research suggesting that social interaction reduces dementia risk," she commented.
Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, added: "Some evidence suggests remaining socially active may reduce your risk of dementia and living with someone is certainly a good way of increasing social interaction."
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency