Compared with married couples, single people have a 42% elevated risk of dementia, and those who have been widowed a 20% increase, researchers find

Being married could help stave off dementia, a new study has suggested.

Levels of social interaction could explain the finding, experts have said, after the research showed that people who are single or widowed are more likely to develop the disease.

Related: Is marriage good for your health? It depends who you’re married to

Related: Dementia is greater risk for single people in later life, study finds

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".