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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 May;43(5):485-90.

Social and leisure activities and risk of dementia: a prospective longitudinal study.

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INSERM U 330, Université de Bordeaux II, France.



To study the relationship between social and leisure activities and risk of subsequent dementia in older community residents.


A cohort study of people aged 65 and older were followed-up 1 and 3 years after a baseline screening (the Paquid study).


2040 older subjects living at home in Gironde (France) were randomly selected and followed for at least 3 years.


Information about social and leisure activities was collected during the baseline screening with an interview by a psychologist. Incident cases of dementia were detected during the first and third year follow-up screenings according to the DSM-III-R criteria.


All but one of the social and leisure activities noted were significantly associated with a lower risk of dementia. Only golden club participation was not significantly associated with this risk. After adjustment for age and cognitive performance measured by the Mini-Mental State Exam, visual memory test, and verbal fluency test, only traveling (Relative risk (RR) = .48,95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) = .24-.94), odd jobs or knitting (RR = .46,95% CI = .26-.85), and gardening (RR = .53, 95% CI = .28-.99) remained significant.


Regular participation in social or leisure activities such as traveling, odd jobs, knitting, or gardening were associated with a lower risk of subsequent dementia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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