Leisure activities in late life in relation to dementia risk: principal component analysis

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;28(2):136-44. doi: 10.1159/000235576. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Aims: To explore the underlying dimensions of a set of interrelated lifestyle factors and test the hypothesis that an active lifestyle may protect against dementia.

Methods: The study population consisted of 776 participants aged >or=75 years who were dementia-free at both baseline and the first follow-up examinations. Participation in leisure activities was assessed at baseline of the survey, and principal component analysis was used to identify their underlying factors.

Results: During the 9-year follow-up from exposure assessment, 212 subjects developed dementia. Higher factor scores of physical, mental, and social dimensions of an active lifestyle was each related to a lower dementia risk. A significant dose-response association between participation in the diverse dimensions and lower dementia risk was observed.

Conclusion: An active lifestyle may protect older people against dementia, and the higher level of engagement the stronger protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities / psychology*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology