Previous studies have suggested that emotional support may promote cognition; however, the effects of giving or receiving emotional support on incident dementia remain unclear. Therefore, we sought to investigate the relationship between emotional support (giving or receiving) and incident dementia. In December 2006, we conducted a prospective cohort study of 31,694 Japanese individuals aged ≥65 years who lived in Ohsaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. A self-reported questionnaire including items on emotional support and lifestyle factors was distributed. After excluding those who did not provide consent or responses to all items, 13,636 eligible responses were analyzed for this study. According to responses of “yes” or “no” for emotional support, we made two categories for both giving (gave or did not give) and receiving (received or did not receive) emotional support. Furthermore, we combined giving and receiving emotional support into four categories (“giving = no & receiving = no”, “giving = no & receiving = yes”, “giving = yes & receiving = no”, “giving = yes & receiving = yes”). Data on incident dementia were retrieved from the Long-term Care Insurance Database in which participants were followed up for 5.7 years. Using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models, we found that compared with participants who did not give emotional support to others, those who did give had a lower risk of dementia (multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 0.61 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52, 0.71)). However, a nonsignificant relationship was observed for receiving emotional support. Additionally, compared to “giving = no & receiving = no” for emotional support, “giving = no & receiving = yes” showed a higher risk of dementia (multivariate-adjusted HR: 1.51 [95% CI: 1.07, 2.14]).
- Emotional support
- Prospective cohort study