On the heels of the announcement that the average U.S. life expectancy dropped a full year in a single year – the first time since World War II – comes another startling study. Contrary to previous generations, the Baby Boomer generation appears to be experiencing cognitive decline (i.e. trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions) earlier than their parents’ or grandparents’ generations.
Researchers from Ohio State University analyzed data from 30,191 Americans and discovered those born between 1948 and 1959 are showing unexpectedly lower cognitive function in their 60s and early 70s than their predecessors. This group is also experiencing signs of cognitive decline earlier in life, some as young as their mid-50s.
“It is shocking to see this decline in cognitive functioning among baby boomers after generations of increases in test scores,” said study author Hui Zheng, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University. “But what was most surprising to me is that this decline is seen in all groups: men and women, across all races and ethnicities and across all education, income and wealth levels.”
In cognitive tests, study participants were asked to recall words they had heard earlier, count down from 100 by 7s and name objects they were shown. These tests were conducted on those 51 and older and the participants were surveyed every two years. Zheng said the research showed this group’s cognition scores began to decline in the early baby boomers (those born between 1948 and 1953) and decreased further in the mid-baby boomers (born 1954-1959). These cognitive declines can lead to an avalanche of other issues, including higher levels of depression, physical inactivity and social isolation.
Studies like this serve as a wake-up call to people of all ages. Far too many of us don’t live active, healthy lifestyles. When we’re younger, we can get away with it, but as we grow older, we have to work harder every year to maintain because when something unforeseen intervenes, like a major health setback or a pandemic, it can accelerate our physical or mental decline
We remain optimistic, though. At Growing Bolder, we’ve spent more than a decade telling your stories – stories that prove there is always a way forward. Growing Bolder Founder and CEO Marc Middleton put it best in a recent Facebook live.
“There can not only be better times ahead, there can actually be the best of times ahead. Trying times are not the time to give up; they are the time to double down, to work harder than ever to improve our lifestyle,” he said.
In addition to focusing on healthier habits, as knowledge about brain health the aging process continues to advance, so do treatment options. Our partners at Aviv Clinics offer the only scientifically proven medical treatment in North America shown to improve and restore cognitive function, such as memory, attention, speed of information processing and more.
The Aviv Medical Program presents:
- Opportunity to improve your quality of life today and health, performance, and fulfillment for years to come.
- Comprehensive treatment, personalized for you, combining our revolutionary Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, cognitive and physical training, and nutritional coaching.
“Bad things do happen to good people, but we can’t allow that to be an excuse for not trying,” Middleton said. “Never allow yourself to think this is the beginning of the end. Start thinking that this is the beginning of what’s next because that is Growing Bolder.”
By investing in your health and your future, you can start your journey toward a better future, full of travel, adventures, sports, fitness, volunteering and time with friends and family.
Learn more about this topic in Marc Middleton’s recent in-depth conversation with Mohammed Elamir, MD, board-certified physician at Aviv Clincs. They discussed the importance of lifestyle improvements and what hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment can mean for our futures.