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Neurology. 2004 Dec 28;63(12):2316-21.

Physical activity in relation to cognitive decline in elderly men: the FINE Study.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Prevention and Health Services Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, Internal Postal Code 101, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands. Boukje.van.Gelder@rivm.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Physical activity may be associated with better cognition.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether change in duration and intensity of physical activity is associated with 10-year cognitive decline in elderly men.

METHODS:

Data of 295 healthy survivors, born between 1900 and 1920, from the Finland, Italy, and the Netherlands Elderly (FINE) Study were used. From 1990 onward, physical activity was measured with a validated questionnaire for retired men and cognitive functioning with the Mini-Mental State Examination (maximum score 30 points).

RESULTS:

The rates of cognitive decline did not differ among men with a high or low duration of activity at baseline. However, a decrease in activity duration of >60 min/day over 10 years resulted in a decline of 1.7 points (p < 0.0001). This decline was 2.6 times stronger than the decline of men who maintained their activity duration (p = 0.06). Men in the lowest intensity quartile at baseline had a 1.8 (p = 0.07) to 3.5 (p = 0.004) times stronger 10-year cognitive decline than those in the other quartiles. A decrease in intensity of physical activity of at least half a standard deviation was associated with a 3.6 times stronger decline than maintaining the level of intensity (p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS:

Even in old age, participation in activities with at least a medium-low intensity may postpone cognitive decline. Moreover, a decrease in duration or intensity of physical activity results in a stronger cognitive decline than maintaining duration or intensity.

PMID:
15623693
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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