Objective: To investigate the association of the change in practice of leisure and social activities with dementia risk taking into account the evolution of cognitive performances.
Design, setting, and participants: From the PAQUID prospective cohort re-examined every 2 years until the 20-year follow-up since 1988, 1461 subjects were seen at 10th year of follow-up. Engagement in 10 leisure and social activities was collected at baseline and at the 10-year follow-up visit for 805 subjects. Four categories of change in activity engagement were considered: subjects who remained active; remained inactive; became inactive and became active. Adjustment on confounders (age, gender, educational level, diabetes, stroke and depression) and rate of evolution of cognitive performances was made with the multivariate Cox proportional hazards model.
Main outcome measures: Time to incident cases of dementia occurring between the 10th and the 20th year of follow-up.
Results: A total of 258 incident dementia cases were documented. The risk of dementia was lower for subjects remaining or becoming active (cumulative risk of dementia: 30%) compared to those remaining or becoming inactive (52% and 42%, respectively) (p<0.0001). Multivariate adjustment including rate of cognitive decline during the first decade of FU did not change these relationships.
Conclusion: This prospective cohort study suggests a significant association between change in leisure and social activities during old age and risk of dementia.