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Social isolation and memory decline in later life

Read, Sanna and Comas-Herrera, Adelina and Grundy, Emily (2020) 'Social isolation and memory decline in later life.' Journals of Gerontology, Series B, 75 (2). pp. 367-376. ISSN 1079-5014

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Objectives To investigate associations between level and changes in social isolation and in memory in older men and women. Methods The sample included 6123 women and 5110 men aged 50+ from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Extended Latent Change Score models from six measurement occasions every two years from 2002 were used to investigate associations between social isolation and memory. Models were adjusted for age, socioeconomic position and health. Results Social isolation increased and memory decreased over time. Among men an initially high level of social isolation was associated with a somewhat greater decrease in memory. Among women a greater increase in social isolation predicted a greater decrease in memory and a larger change in social isolation was associated with further larger changes in isolation, although when social isolation reached a higher level it subsequently decreased. Conclusion Results suggest that the association between social isolation and memory decline arises because social isolation is associated with increased memory decline rather than poor memory leading to increases in social isolation. Men with high levels of social isolation and women with accumulated social isolation over time are especially affected as these patterns of isolation were associated with more profound memory decline.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognition, social networks, structural equation models, longitudinal methods
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2019 10:24
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:08

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