After analyzing the results, they found divorcees were two times more likely to suffer from dementia, compared to married people.
In fact, divorcees had the highest risk of developing the condition, compared to the other groups, with divorced men being at greater risk than divorced women.
"This research is important because the number of unmarried older adults in the United States continues to grow, as people live longer and their marital histories become more complex," co-author Hui Liu said in a statement. "Marital status is an important but overlooked social risk/protective factor for dementia."
The scientists now hope policy makers and practitioners will use their findings to design intervention strategies that help reduce dementia risk.