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December 19, 2007

Physical activity and dementia risk in the elderly
Findings from a prospective Italian study

May 6, 2008 issue
70 (19_part_2) 1786-1794

Abstract

Objective: To examine the effect of physical activity on risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) in the elderly.
Methods: Data are from a prospective population-based cohort of 749 Italian subjects aged 65 and older who, in 1999/2000, were cognitively normal at an extensive assessment for clinically overt and preclinical dementia and, in 2003/2004, underwent follow-up for incident dementia. Baseline physical activity was measured as energy expenditure on activities of different intensity (walking, stair climbing, moderate activities, vigorous activities, and total physical activity).
Results: Over 3.9 ± 0.7 years of follow-up there were 86 incident dementia cases (54 AD, 27 VaD). After adjustment for sociodemographic and genetic confounders, VaD risk was significantly lower for the upper tertiles of walking (hazard ratio [HR] 0.27, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.63), moderate (HR 0.29, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.66), and total physical activity (HR 0.24, 95% 0.11 to 0.56) compared to the corresponding lowest tertile. The association persisted after accounting for vascular risk factors and overall health status. After adjustment for sociodemographic and genetic confounders, AD risk was not associated with measures of physical activity and results did not change after further adjustment for vascular risk factors and overall health and functional status.
Conclusions: In this cohort, physical activity is associated with a lower risk of vascular dementia but not of Alzheimer disease. Further research is needed about the biologic mechanisms operating between physical activity and cognition.

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Published In

Neurology®
Volume 70Number 19_part_2May 6, 2008
Pages: 1786-1794
PubMed: 18094335

Publication History

Published online: December 19, 2007
Published in print: May 6, 2008

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Authors

Affiliations & Disclosures

G. Ravaglia, MD
From the Department of Internal Medicine (G.R., P.F., A.L., N.P., E.R.), Cardioangiology, and Hepatology; University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna; and Health District of Lugo (M.B., E.D.), Local Health Unit Ravenna, Italy.
P. Forti, MD
From the Department of Internal Medicine (G.R., P.F., A.L., N.P., E.R.), Cardioangiology, and Hepatology; University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna; and Health District of Lugo (M.B., E.D.), Local Health Unit Ravenna, Italy.
A. Lucicesare, MD
From the Department of Internal Medicine (G.R., P.F., A.L., N.P., E.R.), Cardioangiology, and Hepatology; University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna; and Health District of Lugo (M.B., E.D.), Local Health Unit Ravenna, Italy.
N. Pisacane, MD
From the Department of Internal Medicine (G.R., P.F., A.L., N.P., E.R.), Cardioangiology, and Hepatology; University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna; and Health District of Lugo (M.B., E.D.), Local Health Unit Ravenna, Italy.
E. Rietti, MD
From the Department of Internal Medicine (G.R., P.F., A.L., N.P., E.R.), Cardioangiology, and Hepatology; University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna; and Health District of Lugo (M.B., E.D.), Local Health Unit Ravenna, Italy.
M. Bianchin, MD
From the Department of Internal Medicine (G.R., P.F., A.L., N.P., E.R.), Cardioangiology, and Hepatology; University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna; and Health District of Lugo (M.B., E.D.), Local Health Unit Ravenna, Italy.
E. Dalmonte, MD
From the Department of Internal Medicine (G.R., P.F., A.L., N.P., E.R.), Cardioangiology, and Hepatology; University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna; and Health District of Lugo (M.B., E.D.), Local Health Unit Ravenna, Italy.

Notes

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Giovanni Ravaglia, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardioangiology, and Hepatology, University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Via Massarenti, 9-40138 Bologna, Italy [email protected]

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