Summary: Feeling lonely for extended periods of time was associated with more rapid memory decline in those aged over 65.

Source: University of Michigan

Prolonged loneliness in adults over 65 may be an important risk factor for accelerated memory aging, according to a new study led by University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers.

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

Kobayashi and colleagues analyzed interview data from more than 9,000 adults over age 50 from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study from 1996 to 2016. They evaluated participants’ cumulative durations of loneliness from 1996 to 2004 in relation to changes in memory function over the following 12 years from 2004 to 2016.

Cumulative Loneliness Associated With Accelerated Memory Aging in Older Adults

Prolonged loneliness in adults over 65 may be an important risk factor for accelerated memory aging. Image is in the public domain

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

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

Credit: University of Michigan

Loneliness and objective social isolation are important factors in the health of older adults, and researchers say that reducing loneliness in mid-to-late life may help maintain memory function for a longer duration.

In addition to Yu and Kobayashi, Ashly Westrick, postdoctoral fellow at U-M’s Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, is a co-author of the study.

About this aging and loneliness research news

Author: Press OfficeSource: University of MichiganContact: Press Office – University of Michigan
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: Open access.
“Cumulative loneliness and subsequent memory function and rate of decline among adults aged ≥50 in the United States, 1996 to 2016” by Xuexin Yu et al. Alzheimer’s & Dementia


Abstract

Cumulative loneliness and subsequent memory function and rate of decline among adults aged ≥50 in the United States, 1996 to 2016

Introduction

The study objective was to investigate the association between loneliness duration and memory function over a 20-year period.

Methods

Data were from 9032 adults aged ≥50 in the Health and Retirement Study. Loneliness status (yes vs. no) was assessed biennially from 1996 to 2004 and its duration was categorized as never, 1 time point, 2 time points, and ≥3 time points. Episodic memory was assessed from 2004 to 2016 as a composite of immediate and delayed recall trials combined with proxy-reported memory. Mixed-effects linear regression models were fitted.

Results

A longer duration of loneliness was associated with lower memory scores (P < 0.001) and a faster rate of decline (P < 0.001). The association was stronger among adults aged ≥65 than those aged <65 (three-way interaction P = 0.013) and was stronger among women than men (three-way interaction P = 0.002).

Discussion

Cumulative loneliness may be a salient risk factor for accelerated memory aging, especially among women aged ≥65.

Highlight

  • A longer duration of loneliness was associated with accelerated memory aging.
  • The association was stronger among women than men and among older adults than the younger.
  • Reducing loneliness in mid- to late life may help maintain memory function.

TECH NEWS RELATED

How To Follow the Next Steps of NASA’s Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the next of NASA’s Great Observatories; following in the line of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. JWST combines qualities of two of its predecessors, observing in infrared light, like Spitzer, ...

View more: How To Follow the Next Steps of NASA’s Webb Space Telescope

Rare jellyfish with pulsing body captured on video for the first time in history

The Chirodectes maculatus jellyfish is elusive. So far, there have only been two documented sightings of this particular jellyfish. Now, a group of divers from Scuba Kavieng have managed to capture this rare jellyfish on video. Many believe this video could be the first documented video recording of the ...

View more: Rare jellyfish with pulsing body captured on video for the first time in history

No Reason for Panic: Why Declaring Monkeypox a Global Health Emergency Is a Preventative Step

The monkeypox virus, which causes a rash and other symptoms, can be transmitted through close contact between people. Countries that are United Nations members are obligated to report cases of unusual diseases that have the potential to become global health threats. In May 2022, more than a dozen nations in ...

View more: No Reason for Panic: Why Declaring Monkeypox a Global Health Emergency Is a Preventative Step

Cancer Breakthrough: Unexpected Link Discovered Between Most Common Cancer Drivers

The study discovered connections between the PI3K/Akt and p53 pathways that provide potential targets for novel cancer treatments. An unexpected relationship between two of the most frequent cancer-causing factors might lead to more effective drugs. According to a recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, two of the most ...

View more: Cancer Breakthrough: Unexpected Link Discovered Between Most Common Cancer Drivers

Identity theft rises as fraudsters find new ways to deceive clients

A cybersecurity team monitors real-time cyberattacks. (Photo: vneconomy.vn) Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Identity theft is not a new crime in the financial and banking scene, but insiders said a new twist on an old problem that banks and clients should worry about, exposes the need for heightened cybersecurity.Truong Duc Luong, Chairman of the Vietnam Network Security ...

View more: Identity theft rises as fraudsters find new ways to deceive clients

China mulls using lunar satellites to probe the cosmic dark ages

A proposed mission aims to use the moon as a shield to pick up faint cosmic signals.

View more: China mulls using lunar satellites to probe the cosmic dark ages

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Still Going 10 Years After Landing – What It’s Learned

Curiosity set out to answer the question: Did Mars ever have the right environmental conditions to support small life forms called microbes? Early in its mission, Curiosity’s scientific tools found chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on Mars. It continues to explore the rock record from a ...

View more: NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Still Going 10 Years After Landing – What It’s Learned

Austrian scientists race to reveal melting glaciers' secrets

Such ice formations are a unique time capsule. Jumping from rock to rock to rock over a creek formed off Austria’s Jamtal glacier, scientist Andrea Fischer worries that precious scientific data will be irreversibly lost as the snow and ice melt faster than ever. “I couldn’t have imagined that ...

View more: Austrian scientists race to reveal melting glaciers' secrets

New Pompeii finds highlight middle-class life in doomed city

Receding floodwater lets police evacuate people trapped in US Death Valley

France to give vitamins to beluga stranded in the Seine

Vietnamese open to learning digital skills: survey

Don’t Use Booze To Help You Snooze: Why Alcohol Isn’t a Good Choice for Insomnia, Sleep Problems

Viettel Telecom introduces tracking device vTag

New Research Finds That Acupuncture May Help Ward Off Diabetes

A New Source of Renewable Energy: Breaking Down Plant Matter

Humanized Yeast: Scientists Create Yeast With Important Human Genes

Neuroimaging Study Reveals Fatigue-Related Differences by Age and Gender

Not Just Bread and Beer: Microbes Can Ferment Carbon Dioxide To Make Fuel

“Time Expansion” – Our Perception of Time Has Slowed

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News