Until then, the results of this study suggest opportunities for social-based interventions that target people living alone that may delay or even reduce the risk of dementia. Contributors: AS participated in the design of the study and in data interpretation and statistical analyses. She also drafted the first version of the manuscript.
OW participated in the design of the study, interpretation of the results, and in the drafting of the manuscript.
EK managed the data set and performed some of the statistical analyses. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript. Funding: This research is funded by the Swedish Research Council AS also received funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond P Disclaimer: The sponsors had no role in the study design, data analyses, interpretation of data, writing of the report, or the decision to submit the article for publication.
Competing interests: None declared. Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed. Data sharing statement: No additional data are available. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. BMJ Open. Published online Jan 4. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Objectives To examine the association between marital status and dementia in a cohort of young-old 50—64 and middle-old 65—74 adults, and also whether this may differ by gender.
Setting Swedish national register-based study. Outcome measures The influence of marital status on dementia was analysed using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted stepwise for multiple covariates model 1: adjusted for age and gender; and model 2: additionally adjusted for having adult children, education, income and prior cardiovascular disease.
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Conclusions Our results suggest that those living alone as non-marrieds may be at risk for early-onset and late-onset dementia. Strengths and limitations of this study. Introduction Owing to the global increase in life expectancy, the number of people suffering from age-related diseases such as dementia will rise substantially and represents one of the most serious challenges of the 21st century.
Method Data The study was based on data from the Linnaeus database comprising longitudinal nationwide data with linked records from various registers, including data from the National Patient Register and the Cause of Death Register. Marital status Information on marital status was obtained from Statistics Sweden. Statistical analyses Multivariate adjusted Cox's proportional hazard regression models were used to analyse the association between marital status and incidence of dementia. Results Background characteristics of the study population, by marital status and gender, are listed in table 1.
Open in a separate window. Values are numbers percentages unless stated otherwise. Association between marital status and dementia We evaluated the impact of marital status on incidence of dementia for the two age groups using Cox proportional regression analysis and adjusted for multiple covariates. Association between marital status and dementia by gender To examine possible gender differences in the association between marital status and dementia, we reran all models stratified by gender table 3. Discussion In this large, nationwide population-based study encompassing approximately two million individuals, it was found that unmarried people have an increased risk of incidence of dementia as compared with married individuals.
Potential mechanisms While the specific mechanisms by which marital status influences the risk of dementia remain to be understood, several possible options, not necessarily mutually exclusive, have been hypothesised. Limitations Our study has several possible limitations that need to be addressed. Conclusions and future work In conclusion, unmarried individuals, regardless of the marital status subcategory, appear to be at increased risk of early-onset and late-onset dementia.
Footnotes Contributors: AS participated in the design of the study and in data interpretation and statistical analyses. References 1. Alzheimer's Disease International. World Alzheimer Report. Ref Type: Online Source Social network, cognitive function, and dementia incidence among elderly women. Am J Public Health ; 98 —7. Influence of social network on occurrence of dementia: a community-based longitudinal study. Lancet ; — Bickel H, Cooper B.
Incidence and relative risk of dementia in an urban elderly population: findings of a prospective field study.
Psychol Med ; 24 — Marital status and risk of Alzheimer's disease: a French population-based cohort study. Neurology ; 53 —8.
Association between mid-life marital status and cognitive function in later life: population based cohort study. BMJ ; :b The relationship between marital and parental status and the risk of dementia. Int Psychogeriatr ; 26 — What aspects of social network are protective for dementia? Not the quantity but the quality of social interactions is protective up to 15 years later. Psychosom Med ; 72 — Social relationships and health. Science ; —5. Williams K, Umberson D. Marital status, marital transitions, and health: a gendered life course perspective. J Health Soc Behav ; 45 — The women, who were born before , underwent a battery of neuropsychiatric tests in , when they were in their late 30s, mid 40s, and 50s, and then again in their later years.
Researchers scored them on various symptoms of distress, such as irritability, fear, and sleep disturbances at every assessment.
Marriage, Divorce and Alzheimer’s Risk
The study found that the number of stressors the women experienced was associated with the number and severity of symptoms of distress throughout their life. Between and , around one in five of the women developed dementia. Start discussions early. The rate of decline differs for each person with Alzheimer's disease, and his or her ability to be involved in planning will decline over time.
People in the early stages of the disease may be able to understand the issues, but they may also be defensive or emotionally unable to deal with difficult questions. Remember that not all people are diagnosed at an early stage.
Decision making already may be difficult when Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed. Review plans over time.
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Changes in personal situations—such as a divorce, relocation, or death in the family—and in State laws can affect how legal documents are prepared and maintained. Review plans regularly, and update documents as needed. Reduce anxiety about funeral and burial arrangements. Advance planning for the funeral and burial can provide a sense of peace and reduce anxiety for both the person with Alzheimer's and the family.
Families who cannot afford a lawyer still can do advance planning. Samples of basic health planning documents are available online. Area Agency on Aging officials may provide legal advice or help. Other possible sources of legal assistance and referral include State legal aid offices, State bar associations, local nonprofit agencies, foundations, and social service agencies. Read about this topic in Spanish. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys naela naela. Managing Money Problems in Alzheimer's Disease. Related Articles. Gives a designated person the authority to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the person with Alzheimer's.
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