Cognitive decline among European retirees: impact of early retirement, nation-related and personal characteristics

Sara Carmel, Aviad Tur-Sinai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our study aimed to enhance understanding of memory decline (MD) in old age by evaluating longitudinal effects of personal and national contributing factors. We used data collected by the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) from 12 European countries and Israel. Our sample included 11,930 retirees aged 50+, interviewed at baseline and four years later. MD was evaluated by the change in the number of recalled words from first to second interview. Except for gender, all of our explanatory variables had a significant unique effect on MD – age, education, type of occupation, European geographical region, early retirement, time elapsed from retirement, reason for retirement, active lifestyle, re-employment, health/function status, depressive symptoms, and decline in physical and mental health – over the four years of the study. Our findings indicate that MD can be postponed by national policies such as those which prolong years of education and participation in the workforce, and by social interventions directed to promote active lifestyles in late life, especially in Mediterranean and Eastern European nations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2343-2369
Number of pages27
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Ageing and Society.


  • active lifestyle
  • depressive symptoms
  • early retirement
  • health/function
  • memory decline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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