A new study has suggested that being married could help reduce the risk of developing dementia.
The study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry looked at data on dementia in relation to marital status on more than 800,000 people from Europe, America and Asia.
It found that those who have been widowed had a 20% increased risk compared to those married, while there was a 42% increased risk for singletons.
The research led by experts from University College London had shown that married people tend to adopt healthier lifestyles and were more likely to be socially engaging than those who were widowed or single.
The Guardian reported that Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK said, "There is compelling research showing married people generally live longer and enjoy better health, with many different factors likely to be contributing to that link.
"People who are married tend to be financially better off, a factor that is closely interwoven with many aspects of our health. Spouses may help to encourage healthy habits, look out for their partner’s health and provide important social support.
"Research suggests that social interaction can help to build cognitive reserve – a mental resilience that allows people to function for longer with a disease like Alzheimer’s before showing symptoms."