Education, occupation and retirement age effects on the age of onset of Alzheimer's disease

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;25(1):30-6. doi: 10.1002/gps.2294.


Objective: To determine the effects of early life education, mid life employment and later life retirement age on the age of onset (AOO) of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: Multiple regression analyses were carried out using data for 1320 probable AD cases, of which 382 were males with employment and retirement age data, using informant based information on education and employment.

Results: No relation was found between years of education, best qualification obtained, or employment variables in males and the AOO of AD. A significant effect of later retirement age in delaying the AOO of AD was seen in males.

Conclusions: In this study no effect of education or employment was seen, although this may be due to limited variance in the study population. The significant effect of retirement age may have several explanations, the most interesting of which would be the suggestion that active employment later in life allows an individual to prolong their cognitive assets above the threshold for dementia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Educational Status*
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retirement*
  • Risk Factors