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Divorces double the risk of dementia

Divorces double the risk of dementia



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Divorced people are more likely to develop dementia

Divorced people have a greatly increased risk of developing dementia. Researchers have now found that divorced people are almost twice as likely to develop dementia as married people.

The latest study by Michigan State University has now found that divorced people are more likely to develop dementia. The results of the study were published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.

Divorced people had the highest risk of dementia

Four groups of unmarried persons were specifically examined for the study; they were either divorced or separated, widowed, never married or in a relationship. The results of the study showed that divorced people were at the highest risk of developing dementia. The analyzed data came from the Health and Retirement Study from the years 2000 to 2014. The sample included more than 15,000 surveys of people aged 52 and over, who provided information on their cognitive function personally or by telephone every two years.

Various factors were taken into account

The study found that different economic resources are only partially responsible for a higher risk of dementia among divorced, widowed and unmarried respondents. In addition, health-related factors such as behavior and chronic illnesses slightly influenced the risk in divorced and married couples, but did not appear to have any influence on people of other marital statuses, the researchers report.

Treatment of dementia needs to be improved

Dementia is a really serious public health problem. Dementia affects the lives of many older people and their family members and also costs the healthcare system millions of euros. Current research is important because the number of unmarried older adults continues to grow, people generally grow older, and married life becomes more complicated. Marital status is an important but often neglected social risk protection factor for dementia, the researchers emphasize. These results will help healthcare decision-makers better identify vulnerable populations and develop effective intervention strategies to reduce the risk of dementia, the research team continued. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Swell:

  • Hui Liu, Zhenmei Zhang, Seung-won Choi, Kenneth M Langa: Marital Status and Dementia: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study, in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B (Query: 02.09.2019), The Journals of Gerontology: Series B



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