So, you toy with the idea of settling down with a partner in future or not? Pick the former. Studies show you will live longer and enjoy a healthy life.
Weird or not, studies have been carried out, and they provide an interesting and compelling suggestion that compared with those who are single, those who are married tend to:
- live longer
- experience fewer stroke and heart attacks
- have a lower chance of becoming depressed
- be less likely to have advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis and more likely to survive cancer for a longer period of time
- survive a major operation more often.
Now, dementia is also part of this list, following a new study.
The research which was carried out at the University College London scrutinized 15 studies with over 800,000 participants. To an extent, all the studies explored the link between marital status and dementia.
By and large, the researchers established that compared to those who are married, those who choose to be single or remain unmarried for their whole lives are 42% more likely to develop dementia in later life.
Additionally, they found marriage has more positive effects on dementia risk than on mortality.
Reasons behind the findings
According to the authors of the study, there are two major reasons why married people have a lower risk of dementia. One is the fact that married people are more likely to have a healthy lifestyle.
As is well known, nothing fights diseases like a healthy lifestyle.
A study published in the Lancet shows the role of lifestyle in dementia risk. It projects an increase (nearly double) of people with dementia globally to 131.5 million by 2050.
However, addressing the risk factors such as high-blood pressure and obesity in mid-life could prevent 20% of dementia cases worldwide.
Further, 15% of dementia cases could be cut through treating depression, exercising, not smoking, being sociable, and controlling diabetes.
Other than healthy lifestyle, marriage provides social interaction which is good for the brain.
Old age causes our brains to breakdown to some extent, which could affect a person’s capacity to maintain normal cognitive function, also known as ‘cognitive reserve’. Marriage offers social interactions needed to keep the brain active, a key element to building cognitive reserve.
If you are single, the research should not scare you. You can still fight risks associated with dementia by choosing a healthy lifestyle. It includes maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly and keeping a healthy relationship of family and close friends.
Moreover, exercise your mind by reading widely on interesting and new topics. Once in a while, attend a networking event. You might end up with a life partner. And if not, you will have improved your ‘cognitive reserve’ through the interactions.