Study Finds Early Retirement May Worsen Cognitive Decline

A new study carried out by researchers at Binghamton University has found that retiring at an early age may speed up cognitive decline among the elderly. Assistant economics professor Plamen Nikolov led the study, with the help of economics doctoral student Shahadath Hossain.

The researchers’ objective was to determine how retirement plans affected cognitive performance. They focused on Asia, which has recorded a decline in fertility and has a higher life expectancy, meaning the elderly make up the biggest demographic. This has created a need for better sustainable pension systems.

For their study, the duo examined data obtained from the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey and China’s New Rural Pension Scheme. The Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey is a nationally representative survey of individuals aged 45 and above in China. The survey directly tests participant cognition with a focus on components of intact mental status and episodic memory.

They also obtained data detailing the socioeconomic and behavior characteristics of participants in the new pension scheme. This led to the discovery that the new retirement program caused adverse effects on cognitive functioning among the elderly. The researchers observed delayed recall, a predictor of dementia, in most participants, noting that the program also affected females more negatively in comparison to their male counterparts.

Nikolov explained that their findings supported the mental retirement hypothesis that reduced mental activity caused cognitive skills to worsen.

The researchers also found that while retirement and pension benefits caused improvements in participant health, it also influenced social activities and engagement as well as activities linked to mental fitness negatively.

In their report, Nikolov stated that participants reported significantly lower social-engagement levels, with substantially lower volunteering and social interaction rates with those who didn’t benefit from the program. He explained that increased social isolation was strongly associated with faster decline in cognitive function among older individuals.

He then noted that while the retirement program did improve some health behaviors, the adverse effects of early retirement on social and mental engagement substantially outweighed its benefits.

The researchers were also surprised to observe that their findings were similar to those seen in higher income nations such as England and the United States. This, they said, showed that retirement affects individuals in different areas in similar ways.

The researchers are hopeful that the study will be useful in the creation of new policies to improve cognitive functioning among the elderly following their retirement.

The study’s findings were published in the “Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.”

For patients already suffering with advanced symptoms of cognitive decline, various technologies from enterprises such as MetAlert Inc. (OTC: MLRT) are available to ensure that individuals don’t wander too far off from their room or home unattended.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to MetAlert Inc. (OTC: MLRT) are available in the company’s newsroom at

About BioMedWire

BioMedWire (BMW) is a bio-med news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via InvestorWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to millions of social media followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with BMW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. BMW is where news, content and information converge.

To receive SMS text alerts from BioMedWire, text “Biotech” to 888-902-4192 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)

For more information, please visit

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the BioMedWire website applicable to all content provided by BMW, wherever published or re-published:

BioMedWire (BMW)
San Francisco, California
415.949.5050 Office

BioMedWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.


Select A Month

Official NewsWire Relationships

BIO Informa DGE Dynamic Global Events DTC Healthcare Conference Kiasco Reasearch Nexus Conferences Octane

BioMedWire Currently Accepts



Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash





USD Coin

USD Coin

Contact us: 415.949.5050