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Link Between Retirement Age and Alzheimer’s Risk

Posted Aug 16 2013 10:08pm

A growing body of evidence suggests clear health benefits of maintaining cognitive and social stimulation in seniors.  Carole Dufouil, from INSERM (France), and colleagues completed analysis of a French healthcare insurer's records involving 430,000 pensioners as of December 2010, finding that for each year after age 60 at which a person retired, the risk of subsequently developing Alzheimer's disease was lower by 3.2%.  After adjusting for certain other risk factors, individuals retiring at 65 were 14.6% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those retiring at 60 years of age. 

Dufouil C, et al. "Older age at retirement is associated with decreased risk of dementia: Analysis of a healthcare insurance database of self-employed workers" [Abstract O2-13-01].  Presented at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, 16 July 2013.

  
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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