Physical activity in midlife can lower dementia risk in old age
A new study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland has found that physical activity in midlife seems to protect from dementia in old age.
Those who engaged in physical activity at least twice a week had a lower risk of dementia than those who were less active.
The protective effects were particularly strong among overweight individuals.
In addition, the results showed that becoming more physically active after midlife may also contribute to lowering dementia risk.
Several modifiable risk factors for dementia have been suggested, but further refinement of this information is essential for effective preventive interventions targeted at high-risk groups.
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is a particularly important due to its broader effects on health in general and cardiovascular health in particular.
Previous research has yielded inconsistent evidence on the association between LTPA and dementia, possibly because of short follow-up time, intensity of physical activity or population characteristics such as sex, body mass index, age or genetic risk factors of dementia.
Recent findings from the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Incidence of Dementia (CAIDE) Study demonstrated that those who engaged in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) at least twice per week had lower risk of dementia in comparison to less active individuals.
Although these protective effects were observed in the entire study population, regardless of their sex or genetic risk factors, they were particularly strong among overweight and obese individuals.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)