Being wealthy is linked to reduced dementia risk

16 May 2018

JAMA Psychiatry: Individual and Area-Based Socioeconomic Factors Associated With Dementia Incidence In England. Evidence From a 12-Year follow-up in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Researchers from University College London have found that increased wealth is related to a reduced risk of developing dementia. The findings are published today (Wednesday 16 May) in the scientific journal, JAMA Psychiatry.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We know that dementia risk tends to be lower for people who have spent more time in education, and while socioeconomic status can mirror a person’s level of education, this cannot account for the relationship identified in this study. This well conducted research carefully took factors like education and physical health into account, but still found that there was a significant difference in dementia risk between the richest and poorest groups.

“This study highlights a trend that we see across many areas of health research, where better socioeconomic status correlates with better health. Socioeconomic status is closely intertwined with many different aspects of lifestyle, so unpicking the underlying cause of the relationship highlighted by this research is extremely difficult.

“The findings suggest that people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds may benefit most from advice about how to reduce dementia risk, and this is something that the health service, charities, and government agencies should consider in future public health campaigns.”