An epidemiological study of civil servants who took part in the Whitehall II Study found that while all categories of cognition function tend to decline over time, verbal memory, in particular, appears to decline at a rate 38% faster following retirement.
“ …these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that retirement accelerates the decline in verbal memory function. This study points to the benefits of cognitively stimulating activities associated with employment that could benefit older people’s memory”.
A recent NHS Choices Behind the Headlines critical appraisal picks apart this research and helps to disentangle some of the issues and underlying uncertainties.
Retirement linked to a decline in memory. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, January 23rd 2018.
This relates to:
Xue, B. Cadar, D. Fleischmann, M. [et al] (2017). Effect of retirement on cognitive function: the Whitehall II cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology. December 26th 2017. Epub ahead of print].