Postponing your retirement could help delay the development of Alzheimer's disease, suggests a British study that included more than 1,300 people with dementia.
The Kings College London team looked at a number of factors, such as education, employment and retirement, and found that people who retired at an older age developed Alzheimer's later than those who retired earlier. Each extra year of work was associated with a six-week delay in the onset of dementia, the Associated Press reported.
"The intellectual stimulation that older people gain from the workplace may prevent a decline in mental abilities, thus keeping people above the threshold for dementia for longer," study co-author Simon Lovestone said in a news release.
The study appears in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
More research is needed to confirm the study's findings, said Suzanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, the AP reported.
"There could be a number of reasons why later retirement in men is linked with later onset of dementia," she said. For example, those who retire early may have health problem, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, that increase the risk of dementia.
"It could also be that working helps keep your mind and body active, which may reduce risk of dementia," Sorensen said.