Study: Delaying Retirement Reduces Alzheimer's Disease

Monday, 15 Jul 2013 04:19 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Delaying retirement can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia from developing, a new study finds.

According to a study that looked at almost a half a million French people, researchers found that dementia decreased for each year that a person continued working, CBS News reports.

"For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 percent," Carole Dufouil, a scientist at the French governmental agency INSERM said in a press release from the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston Monday.

It is the largest study of its kind. Researchers analyzed the medical records of over 429,000 self-employed workers in France that averaged 74 years of age and were retired for an average of 12 years.

The study found that someone who retired at 65 as opposed to 60 had an almost 15 percent lower risk of dementia.

Researchers agree with the conclusion and say that it makes sense. Working involves all the things that help to prevent mental decline — it keeps a person physically active, socially connected, and mentally challenged.

"Professional activity may be an important determinant of intellectual stimulation and mental engagement, which are thought to be potentially protective against dementia," Dufoil observed.

"As countries around the world respond to the aging of their populations, our results highlight the importance of maintaining high levels of cognitive and social stimulation throughout work and retired life, and they emphasize the need for policies to help older individuals achieve cognitive and social engagement."

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