The Impact of Social Isolation on Dementia Risk in Older Adults

Headshot of Alison Huang
Alison Huang, PhD, MPH

In May 2023, the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, released an advisory calling attention to the public health crisis of loneliness and social isolation in the U.S. With this widespread issue affecting such a broad population, how does social isolation impact older adults? Dr. Alison Huang joins the podcast to share insights from her study on the relationship between social isolation and the risk of dementia in older adults. Using data from a nine-year National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), she discusses how factors like living alone, limited social networks and reduced activity participation contribute to increased dementia risk.

Guest: Alison Huang, PhD, MPH, senior research associate, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Show Notes

Learn more about the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2023 advisory, Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation, on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website.

Read Dr. Huang’s study, “Social isolation and 9-year dementia risk in community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries in the United States,” on the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society website.

Learn more about the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) on their website.

Learn more about Dr. Alison Huang on Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health’s website.

Learn more about Alzheimer's disease prevention on our website.

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