Does participation in leisure activities lead to reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease? A prospective study of Swedish twins

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2003 Sep;58(5):P249-55. doi: 10.1093/geronb/58.5.p249.


This study examined whether participation in leisure activities during early and middle adulthood was associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. The sample consisted of 107 same-sex twin pairs discordant for dementia and for whom information on leisure activities was self-reported more than 20 years prior to clinical evaluation. A factor analysis of these activities yielded three activity factors: intellectual-cultural, self-improvement, and domestic activity. Matched-pair analyses compared activities within the discordant twin pairs while controlling for level of education. For the total sample, participation in a greater overall number of leisure activities was associated with lower risk of both Alzheimer's disease and dementia in general. Greater participation in intellectual-cultural activities was associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's disease for women, although not for men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / prevention & control*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Twins