Does Retirement Invite Dementia?

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

A story about the apparent relationship between retirement and dementia is being widely publicized at the moment. While the study was quite clear, much of the news about the study (suggesting that delaying retirement wards off dementia) is misleading.

The study conducted at Kings College in London was published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Researchers followed 382 men to see if they developed dementia after retirement and then looked at retirement age for a possible correlation with brain health.

The theory behind the headlines is that remaining employed requires ongoing intellectual stimulation which in turn protects against cognitive decline. The authors clearly noted that most of the research subjects who retired early did so for health related reasons which may have ultimately contributed more to their eventual dementia than retirement contributed. But this has not stopped the press from drawing tidier and more interesting conclusions.

Here is a classic example of a misleading headline (although the content of this article is surprisingly fair).

No comments :

Post a Comment