Work-related physical activity and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Authors

  • Suvi Rovio,

    Corresponding author
    1. Aging Research Center, NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    • Aging Research Center, Division of Geriatric Epidemiology, NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Gävlegatan 16, 113 30, Stockholm, Sweden.
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  • Ingemar Kåreholt,

    1. Aging Research Center, NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Matti Viitanen,

    1. Aging Research Center, NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Geriatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
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  • Bengt Winblad,

    1. Aging Research Center, NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Jaakko Tuomilehto,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    3. South Ostrobothnia Central Hospital, Seinäjoki, Finland
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  • Hilkka Soininen,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Neurology, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
    2. Department of Neurology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
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  • Aulikki Nissinen,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
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  • Miia Kivipelto

    1. Aging Research Center, NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Neuroscience and Neurology, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
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Abstract

Background

Leisure-time physical activity has been related with a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The effects of occupational and commuting physical activity (physical activity at work and on the way to work) on cognitive health are still unclear. This study aimed to clarify the association between work-related physical activity and dementia/AD.

Methods

Participants of the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia (CAIDE) study were derived from random, population-based samples previously studied in a survey carried out in 1972, 1977, 1982, or 1987. After an average follow-up of 21 years, 1449 individuals (73%) aged 65 to 79 years participated in the re-examination in 1998.

Results

Neither occupational [Odds Ratio (OR) 1.45; 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) 0.66–3.17] nor commuting physical activity (OR 0.46; 95% CI 0.10–2.17) were associated with the risk of dementia or AD after adjustments for age, sex, education, follow-up time, locomotor symptoms, main occupation during life, income at midlife, leisure-time physical activity, other subtype of work-related physical activity, ApoE genotype, vascular disorders and the smoking status. There were also no interactions between work-related physical activity and the ApoE ε4 genotype, leisure-time physical activity or sex.

Conclusions

In this study, work-related physical activity was not found to be sufficient to protect against dementia and AD later in life. The lack of effect might be partly due to a residual confounding. Nevertheless, physical activity during leisure-time may be beneficial even for people who are physically active at work or when commuting. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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