What is it about?

Loneliness is associated with poorer cognitive function in older adulthood, but what comes first? We used longitudinal data from people aged 50 and older who participated in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to answer this. We found that among people aged 65 and older, feeling lonely was linked to worsened cognitive abilities in the next study wave but observed no association before this age. Moreover, lower verbal fluency predicted future higher loneliness among this age group.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Our findings show that loneliness might be a risk factor for cognitive decline in older adults aged 65 and above. Based on this, cognitive health interventions could benefit from considering people’s social relationships, especially in older ages.


I hope this article raises awareness about how the quality of social relationships can affect the cognitive health of older adults.

Laura Cachón Alonso
Helsingin Yliopisto

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Loneliness and cognitive function in older adults: Longitudinal analysis in 15 countries., Psychology and Aging, October 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/pag0000777.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page