RSSLove promotes longevity

Posted on Tue, 7 Jul 09

Love promotes longevity

A report published in the British Medical Journal has found that people living without a partner have twice the risk of developing cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease later in life [1]. The study also found that the risk was even higher if people did not have a partner at midlife suggesting that single life carries the greatest risk for deteriorating mental health.

A socially engaging lifestyle is known to protect against cognitive decline with age, and interventions that encourage social engagement and stimulating intellectual activity have been shown to enhance cognitive function [2].

There is no known cure for age related cognitive dysfunction, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and with these disorders predicted to become one of the most significant causes of ill health in coming years the finding of this report offers hope. It has been previously shown that a healthy lifestyle, diet, and regular physical activity protects against mental decline, this study adds to these findings suggesting that a couple relationship may protect against mental decline through social and intellectual stimulation.


1. Håkansson K, Rovio S, Helkala EL, et al. Association between mid-life marital status and cognitive function in later life: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2009 Jul 2;339:b2462.

2. Bassuk SS, Glass TA, Berkman LF. Social disengagement and incident cognitive decline in community-dwelling elderly persons. Ann Intern Med 1999;131:165-73

Tags: Dementia, Cognitive Decline, Alzhiemer\'s Disease

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