Objective: To examine whether there is an association between engagement in reading and hobbies and dementia risk in late life.
Methods: A total of 942 members of a population-based, prospective cohort study were followed biennially to identify incident dementia cases. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the risk of dementia in relation to baseline total number of activities and time commitment to reading and hobbies.
Results: A lower risk for dementia was found for a greater number of activities and for a high (about 1 hour each day) compared with low (less than 30 minutes each day) weekly time commitment to hobbies, independent of covariates. Only the protective effect of hobbies remained after methods were used to minimize bias due to potential preclinical dementia.
Conclusion: Engaging in hobbies for 1 or more hours every day might be protective against dementia in late life.