Closer ties, stronger memories
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Having an active social life may help older people have stronger memories. Researchers found that in national data covering six years on people ages 50 and older. These folks had taken memory tests. They also answered questions about their social integration – like their marital status, and whether they did volunteer work, and time with neighbors and family.
Karen Ertel of the Harvard School of Public Health:
``If we compare individuals with the most integration – they had less than half the rate of memory decline compared to those with the least integration.’’ (7 seconds)
The report fits other research which had indicated that people with more active social lives had a lower risk of dementia. Memory loss is a risk factor for dementia.
The study in the American Journal of Public Health was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011