About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Middle-Aged Singles At High Risk Of Developing Dementia: Study

by VR Sreeraman on July 3, 2009 at 12:45 PM
Font : A-A+

 Middle-Aged Singles At High Risk Of Developing Dementia: Study

People who live alone in middle age face nearly double the risk of developing cognitive problems in later life compared with married or cohabiting counterparts, according to a study published Friday.

Researchers interviewed 2,000 people selected randomly in the Kuopio and Joensuu regions of eastern Finland in the 1970s and 80s, when their average age was 50.4 years.


A total of 1,409 of the volunteers were then re-examined in 1998 for cognitive impairment, when their ages ranged from 65-79.

Of these, 57 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia; 82 had mild cognitive impairment; the remaining 1,270 were otherwise healthy.

"People living without a partner at mid-life had around twice the risk of developing cognitive impairment in later life compared with people living with a partner," the study found.

The risk was roughly triple among those who had been widowed or divorced in mid-life and were not living in partnership in later life.

Education, smoking habits and other variables that are known to affect cognitive impairment were all taken into account.

The investigators found a big difference between the sexes.

Compared with co-habitants, men who lived alone in mid-life were two and a half times likelier to develop cognitive impairment later in life. The risk for women, though, was 1.87 times.

They also found a powerful link between Alzheimer's, living alone and a variant of a gene called apolipoprotein E-e4 which makes a protein associated with this disorder.

The paper, headed by Miia Kivipelto, an associate professor in ageing research at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, is published online by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Living with a partner "might imply cognitive and social challenges" that help shield against dementia, but why this could be so has to be explained, the authors say.

In 2005 an estimated 25 million people had dementia, and the tally is expected to reach 81.1 million in 2040, according to figures quoted in the study.

Source: AFP


Latest Research News

 New Insights into How the Immune System Responds to Spinal-Cord Injuries
New study findings delineate how aging affects the immune response following Spinal cord injury (SCI) and highlight the participation of the spinal cord meninges in repair.
Nearsightedness: Atropine Eye Drops may Slow Progression in Kids
A recent clinical trial suggests that the first medication therapy to reduce the progression of nearsightedness in children could be on the way.
Autoimmune Diseases Affect One in Ten: Study
Autoimmune disorders were found to be linked to Sjogren's, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis.
Remarkable Journey of Transforming Lives With Brain Pacemaker
Successful brain pacemaker implantation has helped a 51year old Parkinson's disease patient to revitalize her quality of life.
What Are the Effects of Healthy Lifestyle on Osteoarthritis?
Recent recommendations on lifestyle behaviors to prevent progression of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases revealed.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Middle-Aged Singles At High Risk Of Developing Dementia: Study Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests