Married people are much less likely to get dementia

People who are single for life are 42 per cent more likely to get dementia, but marriage isn’t always good for your health – especially if you’re a woman

An analysis of more than 800,000 people has concluded that people who remain single for life are 42 per cent more likely to get dementia than married couples.

The study also found that people who have been widowed are 20 per cent more likely to develop the condition, but that divorcees don’t have an elevated risk.

Previous research has suggested that married people may have healthier lifestyles, which may help explain the findings. Another hypothesis is that married people are more socially engaged, and that this may protect against developing the condition. The stress of bereavement might be behind the increased risk in those who have been widowed.

But marriage isn’t always good for the health. While men are more likely to survive a heart attack if they are married, single women recover better than those who are married.

Journal reference: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry

Read more: Defying dementia: It is not inevitable

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