That's because paid work may provide mental stimulation, financial benefits, and social bonds that can limit the decline in memory as women's ages increase, said Elizabeth Rose Mayeda, research assistant professor of epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health of UCLA.
With women accounting for nearly two-thirds of all Americans with Alzheimer's disease, research may suggest that preventing the disease more than requires medication or medical intervention, and affordable childcare "could one day become part of the conversation about dementia in women to be old, "said Mayeda, who presented her findings on Tuesday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Los Angeles.
The research is preliminary and has not yet been carried out Rebecca Edelmayer, Director of Scientific Assistance at the Alzheimer's Association, said: "It is possible that as far as mid-life work is concerned, this can indeed be protective." [1
Women at Risk
Mayeda's team studied more than 6,000 women born between 1935 and 1956 and gained their family and work experience up to the age of 50. In the two decades from 1995 to 2016, women were subjected to regular cognitive examinations. For example, you should retrieve word lists from memory and fill in questionnaires on cognitive decline.
was similar in mothers and non-mothers who worked. For non-working women, the memory decline was fastest.
] For married mothers who, for example, did not work, memory receded 61% faster over a 10-year period than for mothers with paid employment if they did not join the workforce.
But this work did not have to be uninterrupted to provide protection, Mayeda said. For example, married mothers who took time off to look after children but returned to the work force still experienced a slower memory decline.
"Women who employed paid workers for at least a significant period of time seemed to commemorate a slower decline in later age," Mayeda said. "It did not mean you had to work continuously, for example in your twenties, thirties and forties."
Workforce offers financial benefits, "commitment"
Paid work can provide economic benefits that affect health. John Rowe, Professor of Health Policy and Aging at the Mailman School of Public Health in Colombia.
"They are in employment, which means they may have health insurance, which gives them better access to care than people without health insurance," said Rowe.
But work also brings people together, he said, and "there are very few jobs that you get paid for when you're not interacting with other people."
Women provide social engagement "and allow them to Building a "social network through work" could help protect people from memory loss, said Mayeda, and their results were not surprising for Rowe, who was not involved in the study, because "engagement" prevented a cognitive decline with age
"There are many studies that have shown that dedicated people have a higher commitment to physical and cognitive wellbeing than people who are not," he said, adding that this may not be paid work, but could also involve volunteering
"We need to start looking at engagement, payroll or volunteering as health promotion and prevention," Rowe said "When a doctor sees a patient, he should not only ask about blood pressure and exercise, but also how patients spend their lives."