Right here Is How Girls Can Sluggish Psychological Decline
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Get a job earlier in life if you are a woman looking to keep cognitive decline in check in later years.
A new study shows that women who work in early adulthood and middle age lose weight more slowly later in life than women who have not worked for pay.
The National Institute on Aging helped fund the study, which was published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
As part of the study, more than 6,000 women aged 55 and over stated that they had their employment, marriage and parenting status between 16 and 50 years of age.
Participants performed a memory assessment every two years for an average of 12 years. Based on this information, the researchers rated the rate of memory decline later in life, which is a measure of dementia.
Women who worked regardless of marriage or parenthood had slower average memory decline later in life.
In fact, after the age of 60, the average rate of memory decline in women who did not work for wages after having children was 50% faster than that of working mothers.
Study author Elizabeth Rose Mayeda of UCLA Fielding School of Public Health notes that even mothers who took time off at a young age and then returned to work lose weight more slowly later in life.
The researchers also found that the exact timing of a woman’s time on the workforce didn’t seem to matter. Mayeda stated in an announcement from the American Academy of Neurology:
“The rate of memory decline was similar among married working mothers, including those who worked consistently, those who stayed at home with children for a few years, and those who stayed at home for many years before returning to work, which resulted in them suggesting that labor force participation is beneficial can extend well into adulthood. “
Other demographics – including race, childhood socio-economic status, and educational level – failed to explain the relationship between work history and memory loss.
Mayeda said cognitive stimulation, social engagement, and financial security could be possible explanations for why paid work is associated with slower rates of memory loss.
The National Institute for Research on Aging notes that the study results add to evidence from other research that work is a protective factor in people’s cognitive health later in life.
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