Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dementia and middle-aged men

Auguste Deter. Alois Alzheimer's patient in No...Image via Wikipedia
PARIS - People who live alone when they are middle aged face nearly double the risk of developing cognitive problems compared with married or cohabiting counterparts, according to a study published on Friday.

Researchers interviewed 2,000 people selected randomly in Finland in the 1970s and 1980s, when their average age was 50 years. Some 1,409 of them were re-examined in 1998.

Of these, 57 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia and 82 had mild cognitive impairment. The remaining 1,270 were otherwise healthy.

"People living without a partner at mid-life had around twice the risk of developing cognitive impairment later in life compared to people living with a partner," the study found.

The risk was about triple among those who had been widowed or divorced in mid-life and were not living in partnership in later life.

The researchers also found a big difference between the sexes. Men who lived alone in mid-life were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop cognitive impairment later in life. The risk for women, though, was 1.87 times. AFP

From TODAY, World – Saturday, 04-Jul-2009