Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, followed a large number of women across the US to determine rates of memory decline and their causes.
Women who stay home with the baby and never return to paid employment suffer from a 50 per cent worse memory decline in old age, a new study revealed.
Having a paid job keeps women’s memory sharp as they get older, with memory decline 50 per cent slower among elderly women who worked during their early adulthood or middle age – even with a long gap between jobs to raise a family.
The findings could help prevent conditions linked to memory decline such as Alzheimer’s disease, which affects women more than men.
Around 78 per cent of women aged between 25 and 54 living in the UK are employed and the number of women in the labour force increased by 20 per cent since 1975.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, followed a large number of women across the US to determine rates of memory decline and their causes
Dr Elizabeth Mayeda, study author, said rates of memory decline after age 55 were slower for those who spent substantial amounts of time in the paid workforce.
This also applied to those who stopped working for a number of years to raise children before returning to work – but not to those who didn’t return at any time.
‘While there’s no debate that managing a home and a family can be a complex and full-time job, our study suggests that engaging in paid work may offer some protection when it comes to memory loss,’ she explained.
Adding that this…
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