A French study of 400,000+ retirees found that the longer they’d postponed retirement, the lower were their risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Researcher Carole Dufouil, PhD, reported that each additional year of work lowered the risk of dementia by 3.2%.
To eliminate those retirements that had been triggered by an unstable mental state, Dufouil’s team eliminated participants who developed dementia within 5-10 years of retirement.
After researchers adjusted for the above and for other risk factors, their results showed that those retiring at age 60 were 14.6% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those postponing retirement till age 65.
Dufouil said the benefits of postponing retirement include mental and physical activity coupled with social interactions.
Dr Weil’s take on the study: “I haven’t retired and don’t plan to leave my professional career anytime soon.”
He cited other research showing that the more years of formal education persons have, the less likely they are to develop dementia. This research is based on the theory that challenging intellectual activity creates rich neural connections that act as insurance against brain-tissue losses, just as strong muscles maintain their integrity during periods of inactivity than do atrophied muscles.
SOURCE: Dr Andrew Weil’s Weekly Bulletin, July 25, 2013 Study presented at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Boston, July 15, 2013