Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly

A. Sanders, J. Verghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Leisure activity participation has been associated with reduced risk of dementia. It is unclear whether reduced participation is the cause or consequence of preclinical dementia. Methods: We prospectively examined the relation between leisure activities and dementia risk in a cohort of 469 community-dwelling non-demented subjects older than age 75. We derived cognitive- and physical-activity scales based on baseline leisure activity participation, measuring activity-days per week. Results: During follow-up (median 5.1 years), 124 subjects developed dementia. A one-point cognitive-activity score increment was associated with reduced dementia risk (hazard ratio, 0.93, 95% CI 0.90 to 0.97); increasing physical activity did not affect dementia risk. The cognitive-activity association persisted even after excluding subjects who developed dementia within the first seven years of follow-up. Results were similar for Alzheimer and vascular dementias. Conclusions: leisure activity participation is associated with reduced dementia risk, even after accountingfor possible preclinical dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalResearch and Practice in Alzheimer's Disease
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Leisure activities
  • Physical activities
  • Preclinical dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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