Leisure activities and the risk of amnestic mild cognitive impairment in the elderly

Neurology. 2006 Mar 28;66(6):821-7. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000202520.68987.48. Epub 2006 Feb 8.


Objective: To study the influence of leisure activity participation on risk of development of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).

Methods: The authors examined the relationship between baseline level of participation in leisure activities and risk of aMCI in a prospective cohort of 437 community-residing subjects older than 75 years, initially free of dementia or aMCI, using Cox analysis adjusted for age, sex, education, and chronic illnesses. The authors derived Cognitive and Physical Activity Scales based on frequency of participation in individual activities.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 5.6 years, 58 subjects had development of aMCI. A one-point increase on the Cognitive (hazard ratio [HR] 0.95, 95% CI 0.91 to 0.99) but not Physical Activities Scale (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.01) was associated with lower risk of aMCI. Subjects with Cognitive Activity scores in the highest (HR 0.46, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.91) and middle thirds (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.96) had a lower risk of aMCI compared with subjects in the lowest third. The association persisted even after excluding subjects who converted to dementia within 2 years of meeting criteria for aMCI.

Conclusions: Cognitive activity participation is associated with lower risk of development of amnestic mild cognitive impairment, even after excluding individuals at early stages of dementia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amnesia / epidemiology*
  • Amnesia / prevention & control
  • Amnesia / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities / psychology*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors