Housework, exercise and social outings are associated with reduced rates of dementia

Summary: Research has shown that doing housework, exercising and social interaction can significantly reduce the risk of dementia.

A source: AAN

According to a new study published on July 27, 2022, physical and mental activities such as housework, exercise, and visiting with family and friends can help reduce the risk of dementia. neurology.

The study looked at the effects of these activities, as well as mental activity and electronic device use in people with and without a genetic risk of dementia.

“Many studies have identified potential risk factors for dementia, but we wanted to learn more about different lifestyle habits and their potential role in dementia prevention,” said study author Huang Song, PhD, of Sichuan University in Chengdu. , China. “Our study found that exercise, housework and social outings are associated with a reduced risk of all types of dementia.”

The study involved 501,376 people from a UK database with an average age of at least 56 years.

Participants completed a questionnaire at the start of the study, including physical activity. They were asked how often they participated in activities such as climbing stairs, walking, and participating in strenuous sports. They were also asked about household chores, work-related activities, and what kind of transportation they used to get to work, including walking or biking.

Participants completed another mental performance questionnaire. They were asked about their level of education, whether they attend adult education classes, how often they go out with friends and family, how often they go to pubs or social clubs or religious groups, and how often they use electronic devices such as playing computer games and watching TV. talking on the phone.

Additionally, participants reported whether they had a family member with dementia. This has helped researchers determine whether there is a genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Study participants were followed up for an average of 11 years. By the end of the study, 5,185 people had developed dementia.

After adjusting for several factors such as age, income and smoking, the researchers found that most of the physical and mental activities studied were associated with dementia risk. Importantly, after considering the high correlation and interaction of these activities, the results remain.

The researchers found that all participants benefited from the protective effects of physical and mental activity, whether they had a family history of dementia or not. Image is in the public domain

People who engaged in activities including exercise, housework, and daily visits with family and friends were 35%, 21%, and 15% less likely to develop dementia, respectively, compared to those who engaged in these activities the least. samples.

The researchers also looked at rates of dementia based on the activity patterns identified. In people who exercised a lot, the rate was 0.45 cases per 1,000 person-years, compared to 1.59 cases in people who exercised infrequently. Person-years take into account the number of people in the study as well as the time spent on the study.

Those who do a lot of housework have 0.86 cases per 1,000 person-years, compared to 1.02 cases for those who rarely do housework.

People who visited family every day had 0.62 cases per 1,000 people, compared with 0.8 for those who visited friends and family once every few months.

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“Our study found that by engaging more in healthy physical and mental activities, people can reduce their risk of dementia,” Song said. “More research is needed to confirm our findings. However, our results strongly suggest that these simple lifestyle changes can be beneficial.”

The researchers found that all participants benefited from the protective effects of physical and mental activity, whether they had a family history of dementia or not.

A limitation of the study is that because people reported their physical and mental activity, they may have misremembered and underreported these activities.

Funding: The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, and the National Geriatrics Clinical Research Center.

Dementia research news about it

Author: Natalie Conrad
A source: AAN
The connection: Natalie Conrad – AAN
Photo: Image is in the public domain

Original research: Results will appear within neurology

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