Poor social connection is considered a risk factor for dementia. Since socializing behaviors may cluster together or act compensatorily, we aimed to investigate social connection patterns and their association with dementia, for men and women separately.
A total of 12,896 community-dwelling older adults (mean ± SD age: 75.2 ± 4.3 years, 54% women) without major cognitive impairment were included. Latent class analysis was conducted using 24 baseline social connection indicators. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the association between latent classes and incident dementia over 12 (median: 8.4) years follow-up.
Three distinct classes were identified in both genders: strong social connections with an intermediate friend-relative network (Class 1: men, 43.8%; women, 37.9%), weak social connections (Class 2: men, 29.6%; women, 27.4%), and strong social connections with a larger friend-relative network (Class 3: men, 26.6%; women, 34.7%). Compared to Class 1, men in Class 2 (HR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.08-1.77) and women in Class 3 (HR: 1.27, 95% CI: 1.01-1.60) had an increased risk of dementia.
Dementia risk varies with different social connection patterns among older men and women.

Three distinct social connection patterns were identified based on 24 indicators.
These patterns were related to dementia risk differently in men and women.
In men, a weak social connection pattern was associated with a higher dementia risk.
In women, a strong social connection with a relatively larger friend-relative network was associated with a greater dementia risk.

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This post is Copyright: Htet Lin Htun,
Achamyeleh Birhanu Teshale,
Joanne Ryan,
Alice J. Owen,
Robyn L. Woods,
Trevor T.‐J. Chong,
Anne M. Murray,
Raj C. Shah,
Suzanne G. Orchard,
Rosanne Freak‐Poli | June 14, 2024

Wiley: Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Table of Contents