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A prospective study of physical activity and cognitive decline in elderly women: women who walk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Several studies have suggested that physical activity is positively associated with cognitive function in elderly persons. Evidence about this association has been limited by the cross-sectional design of most studies and by the frequent lack of adjustment for potential confounding variables. We determined whether physical activity is associated with cognitive decline in a prospective study of older women.

METHODS

We studied 5925 predominantly white community-dwelling women (aged > or =65 years) who were recruited at 4 clinical centers and were without baseline cognitive impairment or physical limitations. We measured cognitive performance using a modified Mini-Mental State Examination at baseline and 6 to 8 years later. Physical activity was measured by self-reported blocks (1 block approximately 160 m) walked per week and by total kilocalories (energy) expended per week in recreation, blocks walked, and stairs climbed. Cognitive decline was defined as a 3-point decline or greater on repeated modified Mini-Mental State Examination.

RESULTS

Women with a greater physical activity level at baseline were less likely to experience cognitive decline during the 6 to 8 years of follow-up: cognitive decline occurred in 17%, 18%, 22%, and 24% of those in the highest, third, second, and lowest quartile of blocks walked per week (P< .001 for trend). Almost identical results were obtained by quartile of total kilocalories expended per week. After adjustment for age, educational level, comorbid conditions, smoking status, estrogen use, and functional limitation, women in the highest quartile remained less likely than women in the lowest quartile to develop cognitive decline (for blocks walked: odds ratio, 0.66 [95% confidence interval, 0.54-0.82]; for total kilocalories: odds ratio, 0.74 [95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.90]).

CONCLUSIONS

Women with higher levels of baseline physical activity were less likely to develop cognitive decline. This association was not explained by differences in baseline function or health status. This finding supports the hypothesis that physical activity prevents cognitive decline in older community-dwelling women.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    University of California, San Francisco, Campus Box 111G, 4150 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA. kyaffe@itsa.ucsf.edu

    , , ,

    Source

    Archives of internal medicine 161:14 2001 Jul 23 pg 1703-8

    MeSH

    Aged
    Cognition
    Cognition Disorders
    Comorbidity
    Female
    Humans
    Mental Status Schedule
    Odds Ratio
    Physical Exertion
    Prospective Studies
    Residence Characteristics
    Risk
    Risk Factors
    United States
    Walking

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    11485502

    Citation

    Yaffe, K, et al. "A Prospective Study of Physical Activity and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Women: Women Who Walk." Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 161, no. 14, 2001, pp. 1703-8.
    Yaffe K, Barnes D, Nevitt M, et al. A prospective study of physical activity and cognitive decline in elderly women: women who walk. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(14):1703-8.
    Yaffe, K., Barnes, D., Nevitt, M., Lui, L. Y., & Covinsky, K. (2001). A prospective study of physical activity and cognitive decline in elderly women: women who walk. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161(14), pp. 1703-8.
    Yaffe K, et al. A Prospective Study of Physical Activity and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Women: Women Who Walk. Arch Intern Med. 2001 Jul 23;161(14):1703-8. PubMed PMID: 11485502.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - A prospective study of physical activity and cognitive decline in elderly women: women who walk. AU - Yaffe,K, AU - Barnes,D, AU - Nevitt,M, AU - Lui,L Y, AU - Covinsky,K, PY - 2001/8/4/pubmed PY - 2001/8/17/medline PY - 2001/8/4/entrez SP - 1703 EP - 8 JF - Archives of internal medicine JO - Arch. Intern. Med. VL - 161 IS - 14 N2 - BACKGROUND: Several studies have suggested that physical activity is positively associated with cognitive function in elderly persons. Evidence about this association has been limited by the cross-sectional design of most studies and by the frequent lack of adjustment for potential confounding variables. We determined whether physical activity is associated with cognitive decline in a prospective study of older women. METHODS: We studied 5925 predominantly white community-dwelling women (aged > or =65 years) who were recruited at 4 clinical centers and were without baseline cognitive impairment or physical limitations. We measured cognitive performance using a modified Mini-Mental State Examination at baseline and 6 to 8 years later. Physical activity was measured by self-reported blocks (1 block approximately 160 m) walked per week and by total kilocalories (energy) expended per week in recreation, blocks walked, and stairs climbed. Cognitive decline was defined as a 3-point decline or greater on repeated modified Mini-Mental State Examination. RESULTS: Women with a greater physical activity level at baseline were less likely to experience cognitive decline during the 6 to 8 years of follow-up: cognitive decline occurred in 17%, 18%, 22%, and 24% of those in the highest, third, second, and lowest quartile of blocks walked per week (P< .001 for trend). Almost identical results were obtained by quartile of total kilocalories expended per week. After adjustment for age, educational level, comorbid conditions, smoking status, estrogen use, and functional limitation, women in the highest quartile remained less likely than women in the lowest quartile to develop cognitive decline (for blocks walked: odds ratio, 0.66 [95% confidence interval, 0.54-0.82]; for total kilocalories: odds ratio, 0.74 [95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.90]). CONCLUSIONS: Women with higher levels of baseline physical activity were less likely to develop cognitive decline. This association was not explained by differences in baseline function or health status. This finding supports the hypothesis that physical activity prevents cognitive decline in older community-dwelling women. SN - 0003-9926 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11485502/A_prospective_study_of_physical_activity_and_cognitive_decline_in_elderly_women:_women_who_walk_ L2 - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/vol/161/pg/1703 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -