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Loneliness and risk of Alzheimer disease.
Arch Gen Psychiatry 2007; 64(2):234-40AG

Abstract

CONTEXT

Social isolation in old age has been associated with risk of developing dementia, but the risk associated with perceived isolation, or loneliness, is not well understood.

OBJECTIVE

To test the hypothesis that loneliness is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer disease (AD).

DESIGN

Longitudinal clinicopathologic cohort study with up to 4 years of annual in-home follow-up.

PARTICIPANTS

A total of 823 older persons free of dementia at enrollment were recruited from senior citizen facilities in and around Chicago, Ill. Loneliness was assessed with a 5-item scale at baseline (mean +/- SD, 2.3 +/- 0.6) and annually thereafter. At death, a uniform postmortem examination of the brain was conducted to quantify AD pathology in multiple brain regions and the presence of cerebral infarctions.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Clinical diagnosis of AD and change in previously established composite measures of global cognition and specific cognitive functions.

RESULTS

During follow-up, 76 subjects developed clinical AD. Risk of AD was more than doubled in lonely persons (score 3.2, 90th percentile) compared with persons who were not lonely (score 1.4, 10th percentile), and controlling for indicators of social isolation did not affect the finding. Loneliness was associated with lower level of cognition at baseline and with more rapid cognitive decline during follow-up. There was no significant change in loneliness, and mean degree of loneliness during the study was robustly associated with cognitive decline and development of AD. In 90 participants who died and in whom autopsy of the brain was performed, loneliness was unrelated to summary measures of AD pathology or to cerebral infarction.

CONCLUSION

Loneliness is associated with an increased risk of late-life dementia but not with its leading causes.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. rwilson@rush.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17283291

Citation

Wilson, Robert S., et al. "Loneliness and Risk of Alzheimer Disease." Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 64, no. 2, 2007, pp. 234-40.
Wilson RS, Krueger KR, Arnold SE, et al. Loneliness and risk of Alzheimer disease. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64(2):234-40.
Wilson, R. S., Krueger, K. R., Arnold, S. E., Schneider, J. A., Kelly, J. F., Barnes, L. L., ... Bennett, D. A. (2007). Loneliness and risk of Alzheimer disease. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(2), pp. 234-40.
Wilson RS, et al. Loneliness and Risk of Alzheimer Disease. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64(2):234-40. PubMed PMID: 17283291.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Loneliness and risk of Alzheimer disease. AU - Wilson,Robert S, AU - Krueger,Kristin R, AU - Arnold,Steven E, AU - Schneider,Julie A, AU - Kelly,Jeremiah F, AU - Barnes,Lisa L, AU - Tang,Yuxiao, AU - Bennett,David A, PY - 2007/2/7/pubmed PY - 2007/4/17/medline PY - 2007/2/7/entrez SP - 234 EP - 40 JF - Archives of general psychiatry JO - Arch. Gen. Psychiatry VL - 64 IS - 2 N2 - CONTEXT: Social isolation in old age has been associated with risk of developing dementia, but the risk associated with perceived isolation, or loneliness, is not well understood. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that loneliness is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer disease (AD). DESIGN: Longitudinal clinicopathologic cohort study with up to 4 years of annual in-home follow-up. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 823 older persons free of dementia at enrollment were recruited from senior citizen facilities in and around Chicago, Ill. Loneliness was assessed with a 5-item scale at baseline (mean +/- SD, 2.3 +/- 0.6) and annually thereafter. At death, a uniform postmortem examination of the brain was conducted to quantify AD pathology in multiple brain regions and the presence of cerebral infarctions. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical diagnosis of AD and change in previously established composite measures of global cognition and specific cognitive functions. RESULTS: During follow-up, 76 subjects developed clinical AD. Risk of AD was more than doubled in lonely persons (score 3.2, 90th percentile) compared with persons who were not lonely (score 1.4, 10th percentile), and controlling for indicators of social isolation did not affect the finding. Loneliness was associated with lower level of cognition at baseline and with more rapid cognitive decline during follow-up. There was no significant change in loneliness, and mean degree of loneliness during the study was robustly associated with cognitive decline and development of AD. In 90 participants who died and in whom autopsy of the brain was performed, loneliness was unrelated to summary measures of AD pathology or to cerebral infarction. CONCLUSION: Loneliness is associated with an increased risk of late-life dementia but not with its leading causes. SN - 0003-990X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17283291/Loneliness_and_risk_of_Alzheimer_disease_ L2 - http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&PAGE=linkout&SEARCH=17283291.ui DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -