Prolonged loneliness in adults over 65 may be a significant risk factor for the development of memory aging, according to a new study led by University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers.
“We found that long-term loneliness is associated with faster memory loss, suggesting that it’s never too late in life to act on reduced well-being. loneliness to support healthy aging,” said Lindsay Kobayashi, assistant professor of pathology and lead author of the study published in the journal. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Kobayashi and colleagues analyzed interview data from more than 9,000 adults over the age of 50 from the American Health and Retirement Study from 1996 to 2016. They evaluated the duration of loneliness of the participants from 1996 to 2004 in relation to changes in memory function in next 12 years. from 2004 to 2016.
Xuexin Yu, a doctoral candidate in pathology and lead author of the study, said the link between loneliness and memory aging was stronger in people aged 65 and older, with women experiencing stronger and faster memory loss. more than men.
“Women tend to have larger social networks than men, which may make women less likely to feel lonely than men, but they are more vulnerable when they experience loneliness for a long time,” Yu said. “A lack of social stigma and a reluctance to accept loneliness may be a factor in this particular group being observed.”
loneliness and purpose exclusion from the public are important factors in the health of the body big bigand researchers say reducing loneliness in midlife can help keep it at bay memory function for a long time.
In addition to Yu and Kobayashi, Ashly Westrick, a graduate student in UM’s Center for Public Health and Community Health, is a co-author of the study.
Xuexin Yu et al, Loneliness and subsequent memory function and decline rates among adults aged ≥50 years in the United States, 1996 to 2016, Alzheimer’s & Dementia (2022). DOI: 10.1002/alz.12734
University of Michigan
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