Lifelong marriage reduces the risk of dementia in old age, according to a study carried out by researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH/FHI) and published in the ‘Journal of Aging and Health’ .
To reach this conclusion, the researchers observed different couples and people of different marital status for 24 years, from the ages of 44 to 68, and investigated whether this status was related to a clinical diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). the 70 years.
In this way, the experts found that the group that was married throughout the period had the lowest incidence of dementia, while single or divorced people had the highest risk.
“This survey suggests that being married and lower risk of dementia are linked, but we don’t know why. One theory has been that people who are married live healthier lives, and that this explains differences in risk for various diseases. In In this survey, we found no support for differences in health between married and single people that would explain the difference in dementia risk.”
At the same time, the study has shown that having children reduces the risk of dementia by up to 60 percent, compared to single people. “Some people have theorized that if you have children, you stay more cognitively engaged. For example, you have to deal with people and participate in activities that you wouldn’t otherwise have to do. This stimulates your brain to possibly work better. That way you build a kind of cognitive reserve,” they stressed.
Researchers are now taking a closer look at the importance of having children for dementia risk, the types of jobs people hold, and how retirement age may affect risk.