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Marital status and risk of dementia: a nationwide population-based prospective study from Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1775-0898
2016 (English)In: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 6, no 1, e008565Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

Objectives: To examine the association between marital status and dementia in a cohort of young-old (50-64) and middle-old (65-74) adults, and also whether this may differ by gender. Design: Prospective population-based study with follow-up time of up to 10 years. Setting: Swedish national register-based study. Participants: 2 288 489 individuals, aged 5074 years, without prior dementia diagnosis at baseline. Dementia was identified using the Swedish National Patient Register and the Cause of Death Register. Outcome measures: The influence of marital status on dementia was analysed using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted stepwise for multiple covariates (model 1: adjusted for age and gender; and model 2: additionally adjusted for having adult children, education, income and prior cardiovascular disease). Results: During follow-up, 31 572 individuals in the study were identified as demented. Cox regression showed each non-married subcategory to be associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia than the married group, with the highest risk observed among people in the young-old age group, especially among those who were divorced or single (HRs 1.79 vs 1.71, fully adjusted model). Analyses stratified by gender showed gender differences in the young-old group, with indications of divorced men having a higher relative risk compared with divorced women (HRs 2.1 vs 1.7, only-age adjusted model). However, in the fully adjusted model, these differences were attenuated and there was no longer any significant difference between male and female participants. Conclusions: Our results suggest that those living alone as non-marrieds may be at risk for early-onset and late-onset dementia. Although more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanism by which marital status is associated with dementia, this suggests that social relationships should be taken seriously as a risk factor for dementia and that social-based interventions may provide an opportunity to reduce the overall dementia risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, no 1, e008565
National Category
Psychology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-117847DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008565ISI: 000369993900026PubMedID: 26729377OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-117847DiVA: diva2:912493
Projects
Ageing and Living Conditions ALC
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2006-21576-36119-66Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P11-0876:1
Available from: 2016-03-16 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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