ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
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Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia

THURSDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged adults who live alone are twice as likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer's disease later in life compared to those who are married or live with a partner. And the risk is three times higher among those who are divorced or widowed, according to a new study by Swedish and Finnish researchers.

The study included 2,000 men and women in Finland who were initially surveyed when they were about 50 years old and again 21 years later.

In addition to looking at the association between marital status and dementia, the researchers also examined the link between living alone and being a carrier of the apolipoprotein E e4 gene variant, a known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

The study found the highest risk of developing Alzheimer's disease among people with the gene variant who live alone after losing their partner.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that shows that social factors play an important role in brain health, and indicate that "supportive intervention for individuals who have lost a partner might be a promising strategy in preventive health care," according to Dr. Miia Kivipelto, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and colleagues.

The study, which appears online July 2 in the BMJ, is one of the first to examine mid-life marital status and dementia risk.

In an accompanying editorial, epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Helmer of Victor Segalen University in Bordeaux, France, noted that the study strengthens the theory that cognitive impairment and dementia are affected by various factors throughout life and develop over a long period of time.

The findings could lead to preventive strategies that encourage unmarried people to boost their social involvement by taking part in community, cultural and sporting activities, Helmer said.

SOURCES: BMJ, news release, July 2, 2009