Marriage Lowers Person’s Risk of Dementia, Likely by Making Brain More Resilient, Study Reports

Marriage Lowers Person’s Risk of Dementia, Likely by Making Brain More Resilient, Study Reports
Marriage appears to be a strong and favorable factor in a person's risk of developing dementia, with evidence suggesting that married people are at considerably lower risk than people who never marry or those who have lost a partner. The study, “Marriage and risk of dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies” published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, attributed the social interaction that comes with living with another as important to strengthening "cognitive reserve," or the brain's ability to be more resilient to damage caused by aging or disease. Researchers relied on data from 15 studies published through 2016, with findings were drawn from a population of more than 800,000 and spanning Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Married people were between 28 and 80 percent of the various studies' focal group, those who were widowed between 8 and 48 percent, divorced between 0 and 16 percent, and lifelong singletons, or those never married, between 0 and 32.5 percent. Pooled analysis showed that, taking into account age and gender, singletons were 42 percent more likely to develop dementia than married people. For the authors, these findings indicate that there is evidence of a potential role of marital status on dementia risk. "We found that people who are lifelong single have a 42% higher risk and that those who are widowed have a 20% higher risk of developing dementia than those who are married in studies adjusted for age and sex," they wrote. "We found no evidence that dementia risk in divorc
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