Some of the findings by the University of Luxembourg have suggested that leaves reported as unemployment and sickness are associated with higher risk of cognitive impairment indicating that these kinds of employment gaps may decrease cognitive reserve in the long run.
The srongest evidence was found for training and maternity spells being related to slower cognitive decline, suggesting beneficial associations of these kinds of leaves on cognitive function.
The examination of how different activities performed during employment gaps are associated with later cognitive function and change has not been systematically investigated until now.
Based on complete work histories and extensive cognitive assessments among respondents to the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) in 13 countries, the research team examined how employment gaps associated with unemployment, sickness, homemaking, training and maternity spells relate to cognitive function and aging-related cognitive decline at older age.
In analyses stratified by occupational class, the team found that unemployment and sickness spells were more strongly associated with cognitive impairment for workers in higher occupations.