How to Lower Your Dementia Risk: Get Married
People who have never married are as much as 42 percent more likely to develop dementia, and widows and widowers are 20 percent more likely than married people, suggests a new research review published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. The researchers found no correlation between dementia risk and divorce.
The analysis, conducted by researchers at University College London, included 15 previously published observational studies involving more than 800,000 people in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. The researchers controlled for factors like age and gender.
Other studies have shown that married people tend to embrace healthier habits – perhaps due to spousal motivation and encouragement. Eating right, exercising regularly, maintaining social relationships, and drinking and smoking less have all been associated with a lower risk for dementia. It may also be that stress – caused by grief in widows and widowers, for example – impairs cognitive function.