Healthy Living: Study shows marriage may have a protective effec - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Healthy Living: Study shows marriage may have a protective effect against dementia

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Marriage may test one's sanity, but living into old age with a partner also lowers the risk of dementia.

In a study covering more than 800,000 people, researchers found that walking through life alone dramatically increased the chances of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

A new research paper published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggests that people who have been single their entire life are 42 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who are married.

And those who are widowed may have a 20 percent higher risk.

The study does not suggest being married itself reduces the risk of dementia, but it does imply that various lifestyle factors such as living a more active, healthier and social life are more common with those who do have a partner and that does help reduce cognitive decline.

According to the World Health Organization, dementia ranks as the seventh leading cause of death worldwide with nearly 10 million new cases diagnosed every year.

The Alzheimer's Association lists some lifestyle habits to keep you mentally stimulated, such as breaking a sweat. Physical activity has been linked to reduced risk of cognitive decline.

So has reading and educating yourself. Also try maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

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