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Having Friends Has Healthy Benefits

| Filed under: HealthMental Health

Senior Activities

A new study finds that those who are highly social decrease their chances of developing dementia in old age by 70%.

The study, which used a questionnaire to measure participation in social activities, followed 1,138 people for an average of five years. Each participant had the average age of 79.6 and no signs of dementia at the start of the study.

Each answer on the questionnaire that measured individuals levels of social activity was worth a point.

Researchers found each one-point increase on the social activity score was linked to a 47% drop in the rate of decline in cognitive function, as well as reducing the risk of becoming physically disabled by 43%.

Earlier studies have found that severe social isolation is as deadly as smoking and DOUBLES your risk of early death! Also, those with more and higher-quality relationships are at lower risk for a list of illnesses including heart disease and stroke.

So what's the connection between socializing and our brain? The lead author of the study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Bryan James, says:

"Socializing relieves stress, and there's a huge connection between stress and problems with the brain as we get older."

Makes sense to us! Engage others to engage your brain and keep it in tip-top shape!

[Image via AP Images.]

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