Social activity in 60’s linked to lower dementia risk

05 August 2019

PLOS Medicine: Association of social contact with dementia and cognition: 28-year follow-up of the Whitehall II cohort study.

Research from UCL has revealed that the more frequent social interactions a person has with friends when in their 60s, the lower their risk of dementia. The findings are published today (2 August) in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Evidence suggests one in three cases of dementia could be down to risk factors potentially in our power to change. There is strong evidence that what’s good for your heart is good for your brain, but the social connections you maintain in later life may also play a role in shaping brain health.

“While only one third of those studied were women, a key strength of this large study is that it followed volunteers over many years. It’s promising that the government’s recent Prevention Green Paper references the need to support active ageing and highlights the importance of connected communities for maintaining good brain health.

“With an ageing population in the UK and many people facing later life alone, initiatives to encourage people to stay connected to their families, friends and communities as they age will bring important health benefits. In today’s busy world, we can all take a moment to be a friendly face, stop for a chat and make a difference to the lives of those around us.”