0
Summaries for Patients |

The Association Between Physical Fitness and Dementia FREE

[+] Article and Author Information

The full report is titled “The Association Between Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels and Later-Life Dementia. A Cohort Study.” It is in the 5 February 2013 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 158, pages 162-168). The authors are L.F. DeFina, B.L. Willis, N.B. Radford, A. Gao, D. Leonard, W.L. Haskell, M.F. Weiner, and J.D. Berry.


Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the American College of Physicians.


Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(3):I-36. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-3-201302050-00002
Text Size: A A A

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Dementia is the progressive loss of memory and thinking that usually affects older adults. People who are healthier and more physically fit seem to be less likely to develop dementia. However, that could be because dementia causes people to be less active and physically fit. If researchers could demonstrate an association between physical fitness earlier in life and dementia later in life, it may suggest that working toward becoming and staying physically fit at younger ages could prevent dementia later in life.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To assess the association between objectively measured physical fitness and dementia.

Who was studied?

19,458 healthy middle-aged people who had a treadmill exercise test as part of a preventive health clinic visit.

How was the study done?

The researchers divided the participants into those who were most and least fit, defined as the amount of time people ran on a treadmill. They then followed the participants for many years, beyond the time they reached age 65 years, to see who went on to develop dementia. The researchers then compared the number of people who had dementia among the most and least fit.

What did the researchers find?

The most fit study participants were much less likely to develop dementia than those who were the least fit.

What were the limitations of the study?

The findings may be influenced by other healthy behaviors, such as healthy eating, that are common among physically fit people. The findings of association between fitness and dementia do not suggest a specific level of physical fitness that people can achieve to prevent dementia. Participants were generally healthy and white, and the findings may not apply to other groups.

What are the implications of the study?

Physical fitness in middle age seems to be associated with a lower chance of developing dementia after age 65 years. Although the findings do not prove that fitness prevents dementia, they provide yet another reason to become or stay physically fit in middle age.

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Comments

Submit a Comment
Submit a Comment

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.

Toolkit

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Advertisement
Related Articles
Related Point of Care
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.
(Required)
(Required)