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J Aging Health. 2007 Apr;19(2):242-59.

Physical activity and the risk of dementia in oldest old.

Author information

  • 1Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Rd. Campus Services Building 669, Mail Code CB-669, Portland, Oregon 97201-3098, USA. sumica@ohsu.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study evaluated the protective role of physical activity (PA) against cognitive impairment (CI) in the oldest old (age >/= 85).

METHOD:

Prospective data on 66 optimally healthy, oldest old adults (mean age 88.5) were analyzed using survival analysis.

RESULTS:

In all, 12 men and 11 women reported exercising > 4 hours per week, and 38 participants developed CI (mean onset age 93; mean follow-up 4.7 years). The effect of exercise was modified by gender. In more active women (> 4 hours/week), the risk of CI was reduced by 88% (95% confidence interval 0.03, 0.41) compared to those less active. Less active women had 2 times the incidence rate of CI compared to less active men and almost 5 times the rate compared to active women.

DISCUSSION:

This study demonstrates the beneficial effects of exercise on healthy brain aging even in the oldest old and emphasizes the importance of increasing PA in older women.

PMID:
17413134
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3110722
Free PMC Article
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