Widowhood status accelerated cognitive decline over time among widowed older adults, a recent study found. These findings suggest that extra support is needed to monitor cognitive functioning for those experiencing widowhood. In a longitudinal analysis of existing secondary data, researchers evaluated data from the 1996–2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Participants included 6,766 individuals (28,420 observations) aged ≥50 who responded to all questions. They found:
- Results from growth-curve models show that after controlling for covariates, widowhood status was related to cognitive decline.
- There was also a linear relationship between time since spousal loss and cognitive decline.
- Conditional upon spousal bereavement status, higher education and having at least 1 living sibling were found to be protective factors against cognitive decline.
Shin SH, Kim G, Park S. Widowhood status as a risk factor for cognitive decline among older adults. [Published online ahead of print March 26, 2018]. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2018.03.013.
This Week's Must Reads
Early-Life Stress Linked with Cytomegalovirus in MDD , JAMA Psychiatry; ePub 2019 Mar 6; Ford, et al
Collaborative Intervention for Obesity, Depression , JAMA; 2019 Mar 5; Ma, Goldman Rosas, Lv, et al
Body Weight Predicts Risk for Depressive Symptoms , J Affect Disord; ePub 2019 Mar 5; Vittengl
Slow-Wave Activity and Mood Disturbance in MDD, Psychol Med; 2019 Mar; Goldschmied, et al
Marijuana Use in MDD May Be Contraindicated, Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci; ePub 2019 Feb 26; Radoman, et al
Must Reads in Alzheimer's & Cognition
Adult ASD and Social/Nonsocial Cognitive Impairment, JAMA Psychiatry; ePub 2019 Jan 2; Velikonja, et al
Post-Bereavement Adjustment in Caregivers Examined, Am J Geriatr Psychiatry; ePub 2018 Nov 2; Stahl, et al
Cognitive Deterioration in Schizophrenia Examined , JAMA Psychiatry; ePub 2018 Oct 3; Niendam, et al
Widowhood a Risk Factor for Cognitive Decline, Am J Geriatr Psychiatry; ePub 2018 Mar 26; Shin, et al
Caregivers of PLWDs at Risk for Sleep Disturbances, Am J Geriatr Psych; ePub 2018 Feb 4; Polenick, et al