Can Older Adults Walk Their Way Out of Dementia?
Low to moderate levels of physical activity in later life significantly mitigate the increased risk for age-related dementia, new research suggests. New data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) show that adults aged 80 years and older who engaged in moderate to high levels of physical activity were at lower risk for all-cause dementia than inactive adults who were in their 50s and 60s.
@rini As part of the ELSA study, adults aged 50 years and older were followed between 2002 and 2019. On the basis of responses to a validated questionnaire, participants were classified as being inactive or engaging in low or moderate to high levels of physical activity. Feter reported data for 8270 ELSA participants (mean age, 64 years; 56% women). Over 17 years of follow-up, about 8% of these participants developed dementia. The risk for dementia increased by 7.8% for each year increase in age. However, risk for all-cause dementia was reduced for those who engaged in low (odds ratio [OR], 0.30; 95% CI, 0.25 – 0.36) and moderate to high (OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.10 – 0.16) levels of physical activity compared with their inactive peers.