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Ageing Res Rev. 2015 Jul;22:39-57. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2015.04.006. Epub 2015 May 5.

Social relationships and risk of dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: j.s.kuiper@umcg.nl.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: m.zuidersma@umcg.nl.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: r.c.oude.voshaar@umcg.nl.
4
Department of General Practice, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, Postbus 196, HPC FA21, 9700 AD Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: s.u.zuidema@umcg.nl.
5
Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands; Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, Postbus 513, 5600 MB, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Electronic address: e.r.v.d.heuvel@tue.nl.
6
Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: r.p.stolk@umcg.nl.
7
Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: n.smidt@umcg.nl.

Abstract

It is unclear to what extent poor social relationships are related to the development of dementia. A comprehensive systematic literature search identified 19 longitudinal cohort studies investigating the association between various social relationship factors and incident dementia in the general population. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Low social participation (RR: 1.41 (95% CI: 1.13-1.75)), less frequent social contact (RR: 1.57 (95% CI: 1.32-1.85)), and more loneliness (RR: 1.58 (95% CI: 1.19-2.09)) were statistically significant associated with incident dementia. The results of the association between social network size and dementia were inconsistent. No statistically significant association was found for low satisfaction with social network and the onset of dementia (RR: 1.25 (95% CI: 0.96-1.62). We conclude that social relationship factors that represent a lack of social interaction are associated with incident dementia. The strength of the associations between poor social interaction and incident dementia is comparable with other well-established risk factors for dementia, including low education attainment, physical inactivity, and late-life depression.

KEYWORDS:

Dementia; Loneliness; Social contact; Social network; Social participation; Social relationships

PMID:
25956016
DOI:
10.1016/j.arr.2015.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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