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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 12;9(6):e99638. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099638. eCollection 2014.

Social participation and the prevention of functional disability in older Japanese: the JAGES cohort study.

Author information

1
Tokyo Medical University, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Tokyo, Japan; Human Resource Management Department, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.
2
Physical Fitness Research Institute, Meiji Yasuda Life Foundation of Health and Welfare, Tokyo, Japan.
3
Department of International and Community Oral Health, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Miyagi, Japan.
4
Center for Preventive Medical Science, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan; Center for Well-being and Society, Nihon Fukushi University, Aichi, Japan.
5
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
6
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Iwate University, Iwate, Japan.
7
Department of Human Sciences, School of Law and Letters, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
8
Department of Health and Social Behavior, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
9
Department of Social Policies, Aichi Gakuin University, Aichi, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We examined the relationship between incident functional disability and social participation from the perspective of number of types of organizations participated in and type of social participation in a prospective cohort study.

METHOD:

The study was based on the Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study (AGES) Cohort Study data. We followed 13,310 individuals aged 65 years or older for 4 years. Analysis was carried out on 12,951 subjects, excluding 359 people whose information on age or sex was missing. Social participation was categorized into 8 types.

RESULTS:

Compared to those that did not participate in any organizations, the hazard ratio (HR) was 0.83 (95% CI: 0.73-0.95) for participation in one, 0.72 (0.61-0.85) for participation in two, and 0.57 (0.46-0.70) for participation in three or more different types of organizations. In multivariable adjusted models, participation in the following types of organization was protective for incident disability: local community organizations (HR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.76-0.96), hobby organizations (HR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.64-0.87), and sports organizations (HR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.54-0.81).

CONCLUSION:

Social participation may decrease the risk of incident functional disability in older people in Japan. This effect may be strengthened by participation in a variety of different types of organizations. Participating in a local community, hobby, or sports group or organization may be especially effective for decreasing the risk of disability.

PMID:
24923270
PMCID:
PMC4055714
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0099638
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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