Study Shows That Married People Are 43% Less Likely To Develop Dementia

Date February 1, 2018

In the past, dementia was considered to be just a sign of old age. Since then, scientist have secluded the underlying illnesses and have discovered factors that influence the probability of occurrence.

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What is dementia?

Dementia refers to a wide of array brain diseases that are mainly characterized by a gradual loss of memory and the overall ability to think clearly. Ergo, dementia is not one illness but rather a consequence of conditions such as the Alzheimer's diseases which is responsible for 50% to 70% of cases. Old age is not the underlying cause; it only increases the chance of having dementia. 

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New research says that single people are at higher risk

According to a study done by UCL's Psychiatry Department (University College London), marriage lowers the risk of having dementia. The research that was published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry has shown that people who have been single throughout their lives, as well as widowers, are more likely to develop the illness.

Married people tend to have healthier lifestyles and are more socially engaged, which may explain why they’re less likely to develop dementia. - Dr. Andrew Sommerlad, the lead author

The study was done as a synthesis of 15 different studies that were done on more than 800,000 people living in Europe, Asia, and The Americas. The data shows that married people have a 43% less chance of developing dementia because of factors such as a higher physical shape than single people.

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It appears that married people simply have more physical and mental stimulations and are less prone to smoking and drinking. Furthermore, married people have more social interactions that single ones which are a known contributing factor to dementia. Scientists are hoping to raise awareness among the single senior population about the importance of social brain stimulation.

We hope that our findings could be applied to support dementia prevention among unmarried people, as maintaining physical health and ensuring mental stimulation through social engagement among unmarried older people may be beneficial. - Dr Sommerland

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This study has shown that we can all help our elderly by simply talking to them and finding new ways to exercise their brains regardless of age.

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