Is engagement in intellectual and social leisure activities protective against dementia risk? Evidence from the English longitudinal study of ageing

Almeida-Meza, Pamela, Steptoe, Andrew and Cadar, Dorina (2021) Is engagement in intellectual and social leisure activities protective against dementia risk? Evidence from the English longitudinal study of ageing. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 80 (2). pp. 555-565. ISSN 1387-2877

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Studies have suggested that mentally stimulating activities and socially engaged lifestyles may reduce dementia risk; however, it is unclear which activities are more beneficial.

We investigated intellectual and social leisure activities in relation to dementia incidence and explored the modifying role of sex and marital status in these associations.

The sample was comprised of 8,030 participants aged 50+ from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, who joined at wave 1 (2002-2003), or waves 3 (2006-2007), or 4 (2008-2009). The end of the study period was wave 8 (2016-2017). Subdistribution hazard models investigated the role of leisure activities grouped into intellectual and social domains in relation to dementia while accounting for the risk of death. Subsequent analyses were conducted with individual leisure activities.

During the study period of up to 15 years, 412 participants developed dementia, and 2,192 died. We found that increased engagement in the intellectual activities’ domain was associated with a decreased dementia incidence (SHR 0.85, 95% CI 0.76–0.96, p = 0.007), independent of the risk of death in married individuals, but not in those who were single, divorced, or widowed. Individual analyses for each leisure activity showed independent associations for reading newspapers in females (SHR 0.65, 95% CI 0.49–0.84, p = 0.001), mobile phone usage in males (SHR 0.61, 95% CI 0.45–0.84, p = 0.002), and having hobbies for married individuals (SHR 0.70, 95% CI 0.51–0.95, p = 0.02).

We found that intellectual leisure activities contribute to lower dementia risk in a representative population of English adults, suggesting intervention opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cognitive reserve, dementia, intellectual, leisure activities, longitudinal study, social, subdistribution hazard model, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Dementia, Female, Humans, Incidence, Leisure Activities, Life Style, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Marital Status, Middle Aged, Proportional Hazards Models, Sex Factors, Social Behavior, Surveys and Questionnaires, Survival Analysis, United Kingdom
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 09:05
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 09:15

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