Marital status, lifestyle and dementia: A nationwide survey in Taiwan

L.-Y. Fan, Y. Sun, H.-J. Lee, S.-C. Yang, T.-F. Chen, K.-N. Lin, Chung-Chih Lin, P.-N. Wang, L.-Y. Tang, M.-J. Chiu

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28 Scopus citations


Background Evidence of an association between lifestyle and marital status and risk of dementia is limited in Asia. Methods In this nationwide population-based cross-sectional survey, participants were selected by computerized random sampling from all 19 counties in Taiwan. A total of 10432 residents were assessed by a door-to-door in-person survey, among whom 7035 were normal and 929 were diagnosed with dementia using the criteria recommended by National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association. Premorbid lifestyle habits and demographic data including marital status were compared between normal subjects and participants with dementia. Results After adjustment for age, gender, education, body mass index, smoking, drinking, marital status, sleep habits, exercise, social engagement and co-morbidities including hypertension, diabetes and cerebrovascular diseases, an increased risk for dementia was found in people with widow or widower status (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.15-1.77) and people who used to take a nap in the afternoon (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.02-1.72). Decreased risk was found in people with the habit of regular exercise (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.09-0.16), adequate night sleep (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.39-0.76) and regular social engagement (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.36-0.77). Conclusions Our results provide preliminary evidence of possible risk-reduction effects for dementia, including regular exercise even in modest amounts, social engagement and adequate night sleep, whereas people with the widow/widower status or who used to take an afternoon nap might have increased risk of dementia.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2015


  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Medicine (all)


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