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Cohort study
Older adults reporting social isolation or loneliness show poorer cognitive function 4 years later
  1. John T Cacioppo,
  2. Stephanie Cacioppo
  1. Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr John T Cacioppo
    Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago, 5848 S University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA; cacioppo{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Population ageing is expected to produce a dramatic increase in the number of individuals with dementia.

  • Patients’ social isolation and loneliness are potentially modifiable risk factors for poor cognitive functioning.

  • Attention to a patient's social environment may help preserve cognitive functioning in at-risk older adults.


With the dramatic increase in life expectancy in developed countries, it has become important to identify factors that may mitigate the rising prevalence of cognitive dementia. The social environment in which older adults live has been linked to dementia, but the specific features of the social environment that are predictive …

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  • Competing interests None.