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Cumulative loneliness associated with accelerated aging of memory in the elderly – Neuroscience News

Summary: Prolonged loneliness has been associated with rapid memory decline in those over 65 years of age.

source: University of Michigan

A new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health shows that prolonged loneliness in adults over the age of 65 may be an important risk factor for accelerating memory aging.

“We found that feeling lonely for a longer period of time was associated with more rapid memory decline, suggesting that it’s never too late in life to work on reducing loneliness to support healthy aging,” said Lindsey Kobayashi, associate professor of epidemiology. and senior author of the study published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Kobayashi and colleagues analyzed interview data for more than 9,000 adults over age 50 from the US Health and Retirement Study from 1996 to 2016. They assessed participants’ cumulative loneliness periods from 1996 to 2004 in relation to changes in memory function over the next 12 years . From 2004 to 2016.

Prolonged loneliness in adults over 65 years of age may be an important risk factor for accelerated memory aging. The image is in the public domain

The association between loneliness and memory aging was stronger in individuals aged 65 and over, with women experiencing stronger and faster memory decline than men, said Xuexin Yu, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology and lead author of the study.

“Women tend to have larger social networks than men, which may make women less likely to feel lonely than men, but more vulnerable once they experience loneliness in the long run,” Yu said. “Social stigma and a reluctance to acknowledge loneliness may also be a factor in this observed gender association.”

Credit: University of Michigan

Loneliness and objective social isolation are important factors in the health of older adults, and researchers say reducing loneliness in middle to late life may help preserve memory function for longer.

In addition to Yu and Kobayashi, Ashley Westrick, a postdoctoral fellow at the UM Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, is a study co-author.

About this research on aging and loneliness

author: press office
source: University of Michigan
Contact: Press Office – University of Michigan
picture: The image is in the public domain

original search: open access.
“Cumulative unit, later memory function, and rate of decline among adults aged -50 in the United States, 1996 to 2016” by Xuexin Yu et al. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia


Summary

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Cumulative unit, later memory function, and rate of decline among 50-year-olds in the United States, 1996 to 2016

an introduction

The objective study was to investigate the relationship between unit duration and memory function over a period of 20 years.

Methods

The data were from 9,032 adults aged 50 years in the Health and Retirement Study. Unit status (yes versus no) was assessed every 2 years from 1996 to 2004 and its duration was categorized as never, 1 time point, 2 time points, and 3 time points. Episodic memory was evaluated from 2004 to 2016 as a composite of immediate and delayed retrieval experiences along with reported memory by proxy. Mixed effects linear regression models were fitted.

consequences

A longer unit duration was associated with lower memory points (s <0.001) and faster regression rate (s <0.001). The association was stronger among adults aged 65 years than in those younger than 65 years ( . triple interaction). s = 0.013) and was stronger among women than men (triple interaction s = 0.002).

Discuss

Cumulative loneliness may be a prominent risk factor for accelerating memory aging, especially among women aged 65 years.

Highlight

  • A longer duration of loneliness has been associated with accelerated memory aging.
  • The association was stronger among women than among men and the elderly than among the young.
  • Reducing loneliness in middle to late life may help preserve memory function.

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