Alzheimer's Association International Conference

Alzheimer's Association International Conference

Perspective from Howard Fillit, MD
Source:

Feter N, et al. Physical activity attenuates or even eliminates the risk of all-cause dementia associated with aging in older adults: a population-based cohort study. Presented at: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 26-30, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Healio Psychiatry was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.
July 28, 2021
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Physical activity may reduce older adults’ all-cause dementia risk

Perspective from Howard Fillit, MD
Source:

Feter N, et al. Physical activity attenuates or even eliminates the risk of all-cause dementia associated with aging in older adults: a population-based cohort study. Presented at: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 26-30, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Healio Psychiatry was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.
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Physical activity may reduce age-associated risk for all-cause dementia among older adults, according to results of a population-based cohort study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

“Aging is the strongest risk factor for dementia,” Natan Feter, MS, of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, said during a virtual presentation. “However, we also know that about half of the cases of dementia in the U.K. might be attributable to multiple risk factors, including, but not only, physical inactivity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the overall and age-stratified effects of physical activity on the risk for all-cause dementia in older adults.”

old people exercising
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Feter and colleagues analyzed data of 8,270 participants (55.6% women; mean age, 63.9 years) of the English Longitudinal Study of Aging who had available follow-up data between 2002 and 2019. Participants self-reported physical activity via a validated questionnaire in each wave and were then classified as having inactive, low or moderate-to-high levels of physical activity. Participants or a proxy family member or caregiver answered whether the participant had a medical diagnosis of dementia in each wave. Researchers used the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly to determine the presence of all-cause dementia, with a cutoff score of 3.5.

Results showed an all-cause dementia diagnosis among 7.8% (95% CI, 7.3-8.4) of participants. The risk for all-cause dementia increased 6.1% (95% CI, 5.1-7.1) for each year increased in age. Participants who engaged in low (OR = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.22-0.33) or moderate-to-high level (OR = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.09-0.16) of physical activity had lower risk for all-cause dementia through the follow-up period. Those aged 80 years or older who engaged in a moderate-to-high level of physical activity had lower risk for all-cause dementia compared with inactive adults aged 50 to 69 years. The researched noted sustained results after sensitivity analysis to reduce the effects of reverse causality.

“Practicing physical activity in later age might mitigate the increased risk for dementia associated with aging in this cohort,” Feter said. “Our findings have important public health implications because we know that sedentary behavior is increasing, especially in [older populations], and older people might have difficulties in achieving the recommended levels of physical activity. However, we also know that randomized controlled trials are needed to support or refute our findings and their future impact on public health guidelines.”