Intellectual engagement and cognitive ability in later life (the “use it or lose it” conjecture): longitudinal, prospective study

BMJ 2018;363:k4925

This longitudinal, prospective, observational study aims to examine the association between intellectual engagement and cognitive ability in later life, and determine whether the maintenance of intellectual engagement will offset age related cognitive decline.  The study concludes that self reported engagement is not associated with the trajectory of cognitive decline in late life, but is associated with the acquisition of ability during the life course. Overall, findings suggest that high performing adults engage and those that engage more being protected from relative decline.

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Age is just a number: views among people aged 50 and over in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Centre for Ageing Better, November 2018

This report analyses the most recent data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).  The data shows that across the whole sample of more than 6,000 people aged 50 and over in England, most are feeling fairly good about ageing, with 60 per cent saying that growing older is a positive experience. However there are large and consistent differences by socioeconomic status.

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