Heldsinki Times - Thursday, 09 July 2009
Another reason to stay married
“Does your spouse sometimes drive you crazy? Think again: A study published in the British Medical Journal finds that people who lived with a partner during middle age had much lower odds of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Researchers in Sweden and Finland collected data on 1,449 people as part of a large study on cardiovascular risk factors, ageing and dementia. They were first interviewed in the 1970s and 1980s, when their average age was 50, and again nearly 21 years later. On both occasions, they were asked whether they were single, married, divorced or widowed. In the second interview, their cognitive function was also assessed.
The lowest rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s were found in people who were married in midlife, according to the study. By comparison, people who were still single at midlife or divorced were 1.5 times more likely to develop dementia and 1.8 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Those who were widowed were 3.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia and 2.5 times more likely to have Alzheimer’s, the study found.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES 3 July. KAREN KAPLAN