This article was originally published on November 22, 2018 and is republished on January 3, 2019.
A study in the US finds that people who get wireless internet and other devices are more likely to have a higher risk of developing dementia, and that these people have higher risks of the disease in their 20s and 30s.
It is the first study to demonstrate a link between wireless devices and dementia, said lead author John McDonough from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
“Our findings support the notion that the wireless environment is more hazardous to people than the physical environment,” he told New Scientist.
“And as you age, your body is starting to use more energy in terms of your brain.”
McDonow, a member of the Penn Medicine team, analysed data from more than 3.5 million Americans aged 18 to 75 between 2009 and 2021, looking at their health, and their use of devices.
His team found that the most common device people used to access the internet was their smartphone or tablet, followed by their laptop and tablet computer.
People with more wireless devices in their homes were less likely to develop dementia, the team found.
“The people who were most likely to report wireless device use at home had the highest risk of dementia,” McDonuff said.
“They were also the most likely of all users to report having a high rate of internet use.”
Other studies have shown that older people are more prone to developing dementia.
The University of Colorado at Boulder found that people over 65 were four times more likely than younger people to develop Alzheimer’s disease and three times more than those under 35.
The researchers did not say whether the wireless devices were the cause of the increased risk, but the findings were consistent with other studies that have found that older individuals are more vulnerable to the disease.
“Wireless TV is the single most important wireless device that we use in our homes and offices,” McDoherty said.
McDonuffs team found the people who had the lowest risk of becoming dementia had a lower rate of Internet use, and also less frequent phone calls and social media use.
“These individuals also had the shortest duration of wireless device ownership, and they were the least likely to get the internet,” Mcdonough said.
People were also less likely than the rest of the population to be connected to the internet and to have other ways to connect to it, the researchers found.
They found that some of the most frequently used wireless devices included cell phones, laptops, and televisions.
McDoough said that wireless devices are “highly likely” to be used in the home for a wide range of reasons, and “a number of them could be for things such as entertainment, socialising, or entertainment-related tasks”.
McDonogh said that “wireless TV” was the most popular device people use in their daily lives.
“It’s not just for watching TV.
We also have other devices that people use like laptops and phones,” he said.
This article has been amended since it was first published to reflect the fact that a study in Finland found that children aged under 5 who had been exposed to WiFi in the previous 12 months were at increased risk of having an increased risk for dementia.