Single, lonely seniors are more likely to develop dementia

Singles are 60 percent more likely to develop dementia, new study says. Picture: Getty.
Singles are 60 percent more likely to develop dementia, new study says. Picture: Getty.

LONELY and depressed singles are 60 percent more likely to develop dementia than happy couples, a new study has found.

Experts studied 6,677 people, between the ages of 52 and 90, for six years looking for links between close relationships and conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

And the astonishing results showed that people who are married or live with a partner are less likely to develop dementia, reports the New York Post.

"Growing older is inevitable, ageing is optional": Read more at Seniors News

Professor Eef Hogervorst of Loughborough University, Leicestershire, suggested that the poor health habits of single men could help explain the results.

He said: "It might be because married men have healthier lifestyles - better diets, less alcohol, less smoking and earlier health services visits.

"It could be that married couples will try to cope with dementia symptoms before health services are involved."

The study also showed that single people were more likely to get depressed and suffer from heart disease.

Professor Hogervorst said: "We know depression and heart disease are risk factors for dementia.

"And loneliness had a similar strength of association as the heart disease risk factors.

"We are social creatures and reduction of stress through social support may be more important than previously thought."

This article was published in the New York Post.

Topics:  dementia wellbeing

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