Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH

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Loneliness, Not Social Support, Is Associated with Cognitive Decline and Dementia Across Two Longitudinal Population-Based Cohorts
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physical Activity and Health. Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. (Fysisk aktivitet och hjärnhälsa)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7209-741x
Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
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2022 (English)In: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, ISSN 1387-2877, E-ISSN 1875-8908, Vol. 85, no 1, p. 295-308Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Poor social health is likely associated with cognitive decline and risk of dementia; however, studies show inconsistent results. Additionally, few studies separate social health components or control for mental health.

Objective: To investigate whether loneliness and social support are independently associated with cognitive decline and risk of dementia, and whether depressive symptoms confound the association.

Methods: We included 4,514 participants from the population-based Rotterdam Study (RS; aged 71±7SD years) followed up to 14 years (median 10.8, interquartile range 7.4-11.6), and 2,112 participants from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K; aged 72±10SD years) followed up to 10 years (mean 5.9±1.6SD). At baseline, participants were free of major depression and scored on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) ≥26 for RS and ≥25 for SNAC-K. We investigated loneliness, perceived social support, and structural social support (specifically marital status and number of children). In both cohorts, dementia was diagnosed and cognitive function was repeatedly assessed with MMSE and a global cognitive factor (g-factor).

Results: Loneliness was prospectively associated with a decline in the MMSE in both cohorts. Consistently, persons who were lonely had an increased risk of developing dementia (RS: HR 1.34, 95%CI 1.08-1.67; SNAC-K: HR 2.16, 95%CI 1.12-4.17). Adjustment for depressive symptoms and exclusion of the first 5 years of follow-up did not alter results. Neither perceived or structural social support was associated with cognitive decline or dementia risk.

Conclusion: Loneliness, not social support, predicted cognitive decline and incident dementia independently of depressive symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press, 2022. Vol. 85, no 1, p. 295-308
Keywords [en]
Psychiatry and Mental health, Geriatrics and Gerontology, Clinical Psychology, General Medicine, General Neuroscience
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Psychiatry
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-6866DOI: 10.3233/jad-210330ISI: 000740947000025PubMedID: 34842183OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-6866DiVA, id: diva2:1616378
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E-PABS - a centre of Excellence in Physical Activity, healthy Brain functions and Sustainability, Knowledge FoundationAvailable from: 2021-12-02 Created: 2021-12-02 Last updated: 2023-01-16Bibliographically approved

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