Compared to family people, single people have a more than 40 percent higher risk of developing senile dementia.
Constant communication and high social activity, with which, probably, any marriage is associated, can serve as a reason for a longer preservation of brain health. As Andrew Sommerlad and his colleagues at University College London have shown, single (never married) people are 42 percent more likely to develop senile dementia than married people, but with the death of a partner it also increases by 20 percent.
In an article published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, Sommerland and his co-authors report on a meta-analysis of 15 previous studies that covered a total of more than 800,000 people in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Interestingly, there was no increased risk of dementia in people who were divorced.
In addition to the hypothesis about the role of social activity, which is associated with married life, scientists believe that a greater propensity of married people to healthy eating and lifestyle may also play a role. However, there is an even more interesting version that both lonely life and dementia are only consequences of one internal cause, character traits or psyche, which lead to the impossibility of forming a stable partnership and to early extinction of brain functions.