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Interactive impacts of loneliness and social isolation on incident dementia in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

McHugh, Joanna E., Lawlor, Brian A., Steptoe, Andrew and Kee, Frank (2016) Interactive impacts of loneliness and social isolation on incident dementia in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 12 (7). P807. ISSN 1552-5260

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Abstract

Background:
Social isolation and loneliness have previously been characterised as risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. We wanted to investigate potential synergistic effects of these factors on incident dementia over an eight year period in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Methods:
Social isolation and loneliness were evaluated in Wave 3 of the study, among 4714 community-dwelling participants aged over 50. Covariates (age, sex, education level, deprivation index, depressive symptomatology, cognitive status, and self-reported chronic illness) were also evaluated at this time. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate the interactive impact of social isolation and loneliness upon incident dementia assessed at wave 6. Individuals introduced to the panel as refreshment, or those who developed dementia in the interim, were excluded from the analysis.

Results:
Between waves 5 and 6, 18 individuals in our sample had developed incident dementia. Loneliness was related to increased likelihood of developing dementia (OR = 1.8, CI95 = 1.02, 3.18), but social isolation was not (OR = 0.75, CI95 = 0.4, 1.39). The interaction term was also significant (OR = 2.19, CI95 = 1.42, 3.48) such that having high levels of both loneliness and social isolation was related to increased likelihood of dementia.

Conclusions:
Social isolation and loneliness seem to have super-additive effects on incident dementia over 8 years. Social isolation may only be a risk factor of dementia for older adults when it is accompanied by loneliness.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Welfare of older people
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Related URLs:
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2017 15:27
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2017 15:27
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/2854

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