Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Research Suggests Retiring Later May Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

Retiring later may diminish the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to  research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week in Boston. According to a report by CBS News, a study of nearly 500,000 people in France found that the risk of Alzheimer’s dropped with each additional year an individual worked.Researchers analyzed health records of more than 429,000 workers, most of whom were shopkeepers or craftsmen such as bakers and woodworkers. They were age 74 on average and had been retired for an average of 12 years.

Nearly 3 percent had developed dementia but the risk of this was lower for each year of age at retirement. Someone who retired at 65 had about a 15 percent lower risk of developing dementia than someone retiring at 60, after other factors that affect those odds were taken into account. "For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 percent," said Carole Dufouil, a scientist at INSERM, the French government's health research agency.

It's by far the largest study to look at this issue, and researchers say the conclusion makes sense. Working tends to keep people physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged — all things known to help prevent mental decline, according to the CBS News report.

The CBS news report is here. For more on Alzheimer’s disease, see Psychiatric News
here. The "Clinical Manual of Alzheimer’s and other Dementias" is available from American Psychiatric Publishing here.

(Image: racorn/shutterstock.com)


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