In this article researchers tested the association between social isolation (living alone, unmarried, without social support), feelings of loneliness and incident dementia in a cohort of 2173 non-demented community-living older persons. Participants were followed for 3 years when a diagnosis of dementia was assessed.
The results showed that after adjusting for other risk factors, older persons with feelings of loneliness were more likely to develop than people without such feelings. Social isolation was not associated with a higher dementia risk.
Tjalling Jan Holwerda , Dorly J H Deeg, Aartjan T F Beekman, Theo G van Tilburg, Max L Stek, Cees Jonker, Robert A Schoevers Feelings of loneliness, but not social isolation, predict dementia onset: results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL)