Leisure-time physical activity at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Physical activity may help maintain cognitive function and decrease dementia risk, but epidemiological findings remain controversial. The aim of our study was to investigate the association between leisure-time physical activity at midlife and the subsequent development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Participants were randomly selected from the survivors of a population-based cohort previously surveyed in 1972, 1977, 1982, or 1987. 1449 persons (72.5%) age 65-79 years participated in the re-examination in 1998 (mean follow-up, 21 years). 117 persons had dementia and 76 had AD. Multiple logistic regression methods were used to analyse the association between leisure-time physical activity and dementia or AD.
Leisure-time physical activity at midlife at least twice a week was associated with a reduced risk of dementia and AD (odds ratio [OR] 0.48 [95% CI 0.25-0.91] and 0.38 [0.17-0.85], respectively), even after adjustments for age, sex, education, follow-up time, locomotor disorders, APOE genotype, vascular disorders, smoking, and alcohol drinking. The associations were more pronounced among the APOE epsilon4 carriers.
Leisure-time physical activity at midlife is associated with a decreased risk of dementia and AD later in life. Regular physical activity may reduce the risk or delay the onset of dementia and AD, especially among genetically susceptible individuals.
Aging Research Center, Division of Geriatric Epidemiology, Neurotec, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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Surveys and Questionnaires
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't