The researchers pointed out that bereavement possibly boosted stress levels, which are related to impaired nerve signaling as well as cognitive abilities.
Marriage may help stave off the risk of dementia with lifelong singletons and widowers at heightened risk of developing the disease. These studies can't tell us what it is about married life that is important for brain health, but the analysis hints that poorer physical health among those who remain single is partly responsible.
The widowed had a 20% increased risk of developing the disease than married people.
In the end, the single people who had never been married, had a 42 percent higher rate of dementia, compared to those who had never been married. "It may be that their dementia risk plays a part in whether they find a partner many years earlier", said Sommerlad.
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Possibilities suggested from the research is that married couples quite likely motivate each other toward positive behavior, like eating well, exercising and maintaining relationships.
Marriage could encourage both partners to exercise more, eat more healthily and smoke and drink less, as well as offering more opportunities for social engagement, all factors linked to a lower dementia risk, they said. The researchers looked at how dementia risk is affected by being single or being widowed in comparison to being married. As this research combines evidence from 15 different studies, we can be more confident in the conclusion that married people, on average, have a reduced risk of dementia compared to those who are single. An accompanying editorial to the study by researchers from the National University of Singapore and the Chinese University of Hong Kong add that sexual activity has also been associated with better cognitive functions and that single people may have less sex.
"Staying physically, mentally, and socially active are all important aspects of a healthy lifestyle and these are things everyone, regardless of their marital status, can work towards". If you liked this article and think it may help your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.