Harvard Women's Health Watch

Loneliness might signal mental decline ahead

In the journals

Women usually live longer than men, so it's more common for us to live alone in our later years. That may not be a problem if we're happy and socially connected, but if our living situation makes us feel lonely, we could be at greater risk for developing dementia, according to a study published in the December 2012 Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

The study included 2,173 people in Amsterdam who initially had no signs of dementia. Participants were asked about their living situation, as well as feelings of loneliness and social isolation. They were also tested for signs of dementia.

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