The hazards of retiring ...

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The hazards of retiring ...

Postby hicabob » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:16 pm

"Baby boomers take note: For every year you put off retirement, your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia are cut by 3%."

for full article see
http://www.latimes.com/business/money/l ... 2576.story

The cynic in me thinks that perhaps governments have an interest in keeping us all working until we "drop at the desk" :twisted:
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Blues » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:28 pm

I was going to post something about being retired for the last ten years but I can't remember what I was going to say... :wink:

(I'll take retirement over working, personally. That much I do remember... :sharebeer )
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby gerrym51 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:35 pm

I retired in march of this year-at least i think it was this year.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby EmergDoc » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:37 pm

Use it or lose it.

I wonder if the data is skewed by the fact that folks with dementia can't work.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:46 pm

Since many people remain mentally active in retirement, it must be the morning commute that is responsible for the decline in the Alzheimer's. {twisted smile}

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby MindBogler » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:52 pm

The reporting of most epidemiological studies is analogous to market noise. The media latches on to them and often finds significance or relevance where there is little or none.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:58 pm

MindBogler wrote:The reporting of most epidemiological studies is analogous to market noise. The media latches on to them and often finds significance or relevance where there is little or none.


Last week I attended a lecture by a woman who has retired in her 60s and started studying gerontology. She is now in her 70s and is completing a doctorate. Her topic is the effect of the intelligence and mental stimulation on the Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. Among other things she mentioned that there is very little research in this area, because nobody is interested in funding it. The money goes into pharmaceutical solutions.

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby MindBogler » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:34 pm

I don't think there is anything wrong at all with that topic as an area of study. Epidemiological studies find correlations whose causal links could be rigorously tested with the scientific method. When they're reported to the public at large they cause knee jerk reactions that may or may not be correct (further study is required). Ever hear someone comment along the lines of "I don't believe in modern medicine or science. Why is it that X is good this week and then it is bad the next?" Mass reporting of epidemiological studies are where many of these misconceptions arise from. :wink:
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby EternalOptimist » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:51 pm

Oh yeah, I miss the wonderful commute, long meetings and politics.....very stimulating and life enhancing :oops:
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Fallible » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:02 pm

EmergDoc wrote:Use it or lose it.

I wonder if the data is skewed by the fact that folks with dementia can't work.


Interesting question; we need to know more about the study and I expect later news reports will have it.

Also, the AP story will be continually updated as outside comment is available. Here's one in some editions of the story:

"Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer's Association, said the study results don't mean everyone needs to delay retirement.

"It's more staying cognitively active, staying socially active, continue to be engaged in whatever it is that's enjoyable to you" that's important, she said.

"My parents are retired but they're busier than ever. They're taking classes at their local university, they're continuing to attend lectures and they're continuing to stay cognitively engaged and socially engaged in their lives."
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Cautious Optimist » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:37 pm

"For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2%," Carole Dufoil, a scientist at INSERM, the French government's health research agency, told the Associated Press.

Silver lining...

Years of work/years retired per se is too flimsy as a causative explanation...I'd love to see some kind of "use it or lose it" lifestyle variable that could capture differences in folks that stay mentally sharp vs. become more idle and how that associates (or not) with dementia outcomes..
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby wilpat » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:52 pm

There are 2 signs of approaching old age -- loss of memory and I forget the other one!
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Default User BR » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:14 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I wonder if the data is skewed by the fact that folks with dementia can't work.

Indeed, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. There was a study once that concluded that being left-handed shortened your life. This was done by looking at various current age groups. Older groups had lower percentages of left-handed people.

A further dive into the data discovered that there was time in the US educational system where many schools took it upon themselves to train lefties into righties. Sometimes that stuck and those people now consider themselves to be right-handed. So for the age groups that grew up in those times, there seem to be fewer left-handed people than there should.


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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Levett » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:52 pm

"The reporting of most epidemiological studies is analogous to market noise. The media latches on to them and often finds significance or relevance where there is little or none."

Amen to that.

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Artsdoctor » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:20 pm

"To rule out the possibility that mental decline may have led people to retire earlier, researchers did analyses that eliminated people who developed dementia within 5 years of retirement, and within 10 years of it." The results were the same.

Interesting study with a very large number of people followed (more details are available on the AP website).

The study definitely passes the "sniff test": I do see this generally in my patient population. But I don't think it means you have to necessarily remain employed; you have to really stay engaged. And don't withdraw socially!
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby mlebuf » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:41 pm

I retired from university teaching at age 47 and that was 24 years ago. If the study is correct, my current IQ is approaching that of plant life.

I do notice two marked changes as I age: I'm losing my memory and............................I forgot what the other one is.

As one of my grad school buddies told me, "Work is the curse of the drinking class." :sharebeer
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby joe8d » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:50 pm

"Baby boomers take note: For every year you put off retirement, your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia are cut by 3%."


I'm 71 and still work P/T mainly for that reason.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Artsdoctor » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:18 pm

Nisi,

The study you referenced looked at 18-60 year olds. There was no intent to look for dementia.

The study noted in the LA Times was run by the French government and looked at over 429,000 people over the span of several years (this is a HUGE study). The average age was 74 and the average length of time of retirement was 12 years; most appeared to be just be average working class people. "Nearly 3% had developed dementia but the risk of this was lower for each year of age at retirement. Someone who retired at 65 had about a 15% lower risk of developing dementia compared to someone retiring at 50 after other factors that affect those odds were taken into account." In order to rule out the possibility that mental decline may have led people to retire earlier, "researchers did analyses that eliminated people who developed dementia with 5 years of retirement, and within 10 years of it," and the trend was the same.

This was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston and the study has been accepted for publication. I suspect that once the study design and results are available to critique, this will be a very big topic in the geriatric medical community.

I don't think you necessarily have to say that you must remain employed to help stave off dementia. But I wouldn't underestimate the importance of all of those social interactions which occur as part of daily routine in people who regularly work. My elderly patients (say, above 80) have taught me repeatedly that staying involved with something in their later years is vital.

I'm not sure this thread would be considered "actionable," but since there are an awful lot of seniors managing their own money I think the take-home message might be stay involved socially during retirement years as much and as long as you can. This will be pretty easy during the early go-go years, but will become more challenging during the slow-go years and later, the no-go years.

Just my opinion but this study appears to have been well-run with an unusually large number of patients.

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:23 pm

a joke (not intended to offend anyone of course):
Two golfers go for a round and need to hire a caddy to help them locate where their golf balls land. The manager at the golf course hears the golfers concerns and says "I've got just the caddy for you two." He calls over a caddy to introduce to the golfers and the caddy appears to be around 95 years old.

The golfers are very hesitant and say to the owner, "I don't know about this caddy you've chosen...he's so old." The owner says "I know what you're thinking but he's our best caddy. Don't worry, he has eyes like a hawk. He can always see where golf balls land." The golfers accept the caddy.

The two golfers go tee off and then look to the caddy and ask, "Well, did you see where our balls landed?" The caddy says "Yes." The golfers then ask, "Well, where are they?" The caddy says "I can't remember".
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Fallible » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:28 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:Nisi,

The study you referenced looked at 18-60 year olds. There was no intent to look for dementia.

The study noted in the LA Times was run by the French government and looked at over 429,000 people over the span of several years (this is a HUGE study). The average age was 74 and the average length of time of retirement was 12 years; most appeared to be just be average working class people. "Nearly 3% had developed dementia but the risk of this was lower for each year of age at retirement. Someone who retired at 65 had about a 15% lower risk of developing dementia compared to someone retiring at 50 after other factors that affect those odds were taken into account." In order to rule out the possibility that mental decline may have led people to retire earlier, "researchers did analyses that eliminated people who developed dementia with 5 years of retirement, and within 10 years of it," and the trend was the same.

This was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston and the study has been accepted for publication. I suspect that once the study design and results are available to critique, this will be a very big topic in the geriatric medical community.

I don't think you necessarily have to say that you must remain employed to help stave off dementia. But I wouldn't underestimate the importance of all of those social interactions which occur as part of daily routine in people who regularly work. My elderly patients (say, above 80) have taught me repeatedly that staying involved with something in their later years is vital.

I'm not sure this thread would be considered "actionable," but since there are an awful lot of seniors managing their own money I think the take-home message might be stay involved socially during retirement years as much and as long as you can. ...
Artsdoctor


I think this part of my earlier post bears repeating here as it does refer to the overall "take-home message" you mention. The comment from the AA was in an update of the AP story:

"Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer's Association, said the study results don't mean everyone needs to delay retirement.

"It's more staying cognitively active, staying socially active, continue to be engaged in whatever it is that's enjoyable to you" that's important, she said.

"My parents are retired but they're busier than ever. They're taking classes at their local university, they're continuing to attend lectures and they're continuing to stay cognitively engaged and socially engaged in their lives."
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby rixer » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:15 pm

Another new study said that cannabis can slow or cure Alzheimer's. :shock:
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:17 pm

rixer wrote:Another new study said that cannabis can slow or cure Alzheimer's. :shock:


But only if you work on it.

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Ged » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:36 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Since many people remain mentally active in retirement, it must be the morning commute that is responsible for the decline in the Alzheimer's. {twisted smile}

Victoria


So that means telecommuting is the worst case scenario? Not retired AND prone to advancing dementia?
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:45 pm

Ged wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Since many people remain mentally active in retirement, it must be the morning commute that is responsible for the decline in the Alzheimer's. {twisted smile}

Victoria


So that means telecommuting is the worst case scenario? Not retired AND prone to advancing dementia?


Telecommuting brings the worst of both worlds. The way to deal with it is to get into the car early in the morning and to plunge into the most notorious traffic jams before returning home and starting the telework. For the extra anti-Alzheimer's credit repeat it during the evening commute.

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby ThatGuy » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:03 pm

mlebuf wrote:As one of my grad school buddies told me, "Work is the curse of the drinking class." :sharebeer


You went to school with Oscar Wilde?
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby protagonist » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:27 pm

Default User BR wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:I wonder if the data is skewed by the fact that folks with dementia can't work.

Indeed, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. There was a study once that concluded that being left-handed shortened your life. This was done by looking at various current age groups. Older groups had lower percentages of left-handed people.

A further dive into the data discovered that there was time in the US educational system where many schools took it upon themselves to train lefties into righties. Sometimes that stuck and those people now consider themselves to be right-handed. So for the age groups that grew up in those times, there seem to be fewer left-handed people than there should.


Brian


Exactly. From reading the LA Times article, it could even just as easily be the case that people retired because of already decreasing mental capacity. I could just see the follow-up article: "People with Nascent Alzheimers are 3% More Likely to Retire than People Without". Of course, that would be like a "Dog bites man" story. "Man bites dog" certainly sells more papers.

I hate this kind of journalism.

That said, I have read studies that suggest that anything you do to keep your mind and body alive and active tends to ward off Alzheimer's. So that seems to be the key, to the extent that we can fight our own genetics. So working may help. But needless to say, not all jobs keep your mind or body active.
"
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Rodc » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:35 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:Nisi,

The study you referenced looked at 18-60 year olds. There was no intent to look for dementia.

The study noted in the LA Times was run by the French government and looked at over 429,000 people over the span of several years (this is a HUGE study). The average age was 74 and the average length of time of retirement was 12 years; most appeared to be just be average working class people. "Nearly 3% had developed dementia but the risk of this was lower for each year of age at retirement. Someone who retired at 65 had about a 15% lower risk of developing dementia compared to someone retiring at 50 after other factors that affect those odds were taken into account." In order to rule out the possibility that mental decline may have led people to retire earlier, "researchers did analyses that eliminated people who developed dementia with 5 years of retirement, and within 10 years of it," and the trend was the same.

This was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston and the study has been accepted for publication. I suspect that once the study design and results are available to critique, this will be a very big topic in the geriatric medical community.

I don't think you necessarily have to say that you must remain employed to help stave off dementia. But I wouldn't underestimate the importance of all of those social interactions which occur as part of daily routine in people who regularly work. My elderly patients (say, above 80) have taught me repeatedly that staying involved with something in their later years is vital.

I'm not sure this thread would be considered "actionable," but since there are an awful lot of seniors managing their own money I think the take-home message might be stay involved socially during retirement years as much and as long as you can. This will be pretty easy during the early go-go years, but will become more challenging during the slow-go years and later, the no-go years.

Just my opinion but this study appears to have been well-run with an unusually large number of patients.

Artsdoctor


Bold added

I'd be somewhat surprised if a 15% drop in something that is nominally only 3% to begin with, in people who retired 15 years apart, is significant enough to care about. The relative drop is 1% a year, not the absolute drop. So from a nominal 3% rate of Alzheimer's, putting off retirement for a year gets me to 2.97% (difference is totally lost in the noise). If I put off retirement for 5 years I'm down to about 2.85, also likely a different lost in the measurement noise. If I put off retirement for the full 15 years (!) I am down to 2.55%.

Anyone going to put off retirement for 15 years (for many that means work until you die) to have less than half a percent absolute improvement in your odds of getting Alzheimer's?
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby EternalOptimist » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:04 pm

Spent today at the beach.....work is so overrated!
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby traineeinvestor » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:08 pm

If it's a choice between a 15% increase in the risk of Alzheimer's and adding another 15 years to my time in the work force (which would probably drive me insane anyway), I'll take the increased risk.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:11 pm

protagonist wrote:Exactly. From reading the LA Times article, it could even just as easily be the case that people retired because of already decreasing mental capacity. I could just see the follow-up article: "People with Nascent Alzheimers are 3% More Likely to Retire than People Without". Of course, that would be like a "Dog bites man" story. "Man bites dog" certainly sells more papers.

I hate this kind of journalism.

That said, I have read studies that suggest that anything you do to keep your mind and body alive and active tends to ward off Alzheimer's. So that seems to be the key, to the extent that we can fight our own genetics. So working may help. But needless to say, not all jobs keep your mind or body active.


"Man bites dog" keeps the man's body alive. It might help to ward off Alzheimer's.

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby SnapShots » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:18 pm

Some of these comments are making me LOL!!!!! I think my husband was born to be retired. Me, too. :beer
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby wshang » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:04 pm

Only read the LA Times article. Seems I have so many questions such as:
1) Are early retirees in France more likely to be manual laborers?
2) Is there any difference between the level of activity (a known factor) of early retirees versus later (disabled?)
3) Is there a difference between reasons for retirement in France versus the US?
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby MIGIHIDARI » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:12 pm

Blues wrote:I was going to post something about being retired for the last ten years but I can't remember what I was going to say... :wink:

(I'll take retirement over working, personally. That much I do remember... :sharebeer )


Too Funny!
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby heyyou » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:15 am

Where is the study of those who described their jobs as long hours of mind numbing work? Trading that for some risk of dementia was fine with me. Retirement since age 55 has been the best years of my life. Is there a study of the happiness of voluntarily retired people compared with similar aged employees? Consider the hazard of missing some joyous years by not retiring.

Describing the social interactions at work as being beneficial may or may not be true for everyone. Ulcers, high blood pressure, and other stress related symptoms are common in some jobs.

As usual, there is risk on both sides of any situation if you look deep enough.

I think my husband was born to be retired.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby mlebuf » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:14 am

ThatGuy wrote:
mlebuf wrote:As one of my grad school buddies told me, "Work is the curse of the drinking class." :sharebeer


You went to school with Oscar Wilde?


Yes, and I still don't have Alzheimer's. :D

Thanks for making me aware of who originated the line. Next time I'll give it the correct attribution.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby beanstock » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:53 am

There are also numerous studies that suggest that stress from work could lead to early mortality due to cardiovascular issues and suppressed immune system. I think the key to thriving mentally and physically is to remain physically and socially active regardless of your work status. Its also important to keep bad stress levels low while keeping good stress levels moderate.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby riskreward » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:54 am

So if I come out of retirement, become a Walmart greeter and give up reading classic novels, I reduce my chances of dementia? :oops:
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby beanstock » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:01 am

I suppose if you go from having a 30 yr career in a field that you are passionate about and provides great meaning in your life to spending copious amounts of time at home watching TV and not doing much, your brain and body will start to rot quickly.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Artsdoctor » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:57 am

Rod,

So sorry. There was a typo: "50" should have been "60." My apologies.

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Rodc » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:38 am

Artsdoctor wrote:Rod,

So sorry. There was a typo: "50" should have been "60." My apologies.

Artsdoctor


Thank you for the correction.

So putting off retirement for 5 years reduces the odds from 3% to around 2.55%.

I guess it is a judgement call. I think I'll just do some volunteer work or something and hope that is good enough. :)
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby blueridge » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:41 am

riskreward wrote:So if I come out of retirement, become a Walmart greeter and give up reading classic novels, I reduce my chances of dementia? :oops:

lol, I feel the same way. I expect to be using my brain in MUCH more varied and interesting ways after I retire. Now if I can just remember to retire!
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby rixer » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:50 am

Just watch Jeopardy. :wink:
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Artsdoctor » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:21 pm

Rixer,

The CORRECT answer is to BE on Jeopardy!

Best,

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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby caroljm36 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:28 pm

EmergDoc wrote:Use it or lose it.

I wonder if the data is skewed by the fact that folks with dementia can't work.



The study controlled for that. No connection..pretty big sample, too, half a million.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby Blues » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:58 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:Rixer,

The CORRECT answer is to BE on Jeopardy!

Best,

Artsdoctor


Or at least watch it in a pub with Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA on tap and a few folks around to admire just how astute and well educated we Bogleheads really are. :wink: :sharebeer
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby SnapShots » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:15 pm

I'm sick and tired of Tips for Preventing Alzheimer's. No one knows what causes it or how to stop it. There is nothing you can do to prevent it. Nothing! But here are A FEW tips from the Alzheimer's Association on prevention. Really!

Work crossword puzzles. Number puzzles.
Eat with your non-dominate hand.
Rearrange your computer file system. (this might make you go crazy)
Practice memorization.
Don't watch TV in bed.
Watch crime movies. Think about who, what, when, where and how'd they do it.
Learn something new.
Drink Tea.
Drink Coffee. Don't Drink Coffee.
Eat Fish. Avoid Fats.
Protect your head, trauma to the head is bad for the head. :wink:
Stay active. Be social.
Have a routine sleep schedule. Take a nap.
Include balance exercise in your schedule.
Quit smoking (that's good for a lot of things plus it stinks)
Don't be stressed....Quit work (My Tip) :beer

AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON...................
the best decision many times is the hardest to do
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby SnapShots » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:32 pm

Just in....NY Times...

Demenita Rate Found to Drop Sharply, as forecast

Has nothing to do with working... :oops:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/healt ... rc=mv&_r=0

Yet experts on aging said the studies also confirmed something they had suspected but had had difficulty proving: that dementia rates would fall and mental acuity improve as the population grew healthier and better educated. The incidence of dementia is lower among those better educated, as well as among those who control their blood pressure and cholesterol, possibly because some dementia is caused by ministrokes and other vascular damage. So as populations controlled cardiovascular risk factors better and had more years of schooling, it made sense that the risk of dementia might decrease. A half-dozen previous studies had hinted that the rate was falling, but they had flaws that led some to doubt the conclusions.
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby wshang » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:45 pm

This is what I get from this . . . . the French need to work longer and harder!

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... Wc&cad=rja

Looking at the rate of working over age 55, Americans work the longest compared to Europeans and Canadians. The French inch out the Italians for second place for early idleness. (Belgiums win the lassitude race!)
“. . . extraordinary wealth can be made by knowing the future" - Harry Dent
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:31 am

wshang wrote:This is what I get from this . . . . the French need to work longer and harder!


The French get dementia from French fries.

Victoria
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: The hazards of retiring ...

Postby hicabob » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:54 am

wshang wrote:This is what I get from this . . . . the French need to work longer and harder!

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... Wc&cad=rja

Looking at the rate of working over age 55, Americans work the longest compared to Europeans and Canadians. The French inch out the Italians for second place for early idleness. (Belgiums win the lassitude race!)



So from the original hypothesis we would expect those early-retiring, 35 hour/week working slackers (note: I have spent quite a bit of time in and love the Benelux countries and their culture :happy )to have a much higher Alzheimer's rates than we hard working Yanks, yet that appears not to be the case - at least in older age groups ...
http://www.alz.co.uk/adi/pdf/prevalence.pdf
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