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Keywords:

  • elderly female;
  • Mini-Mental State Examination;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • music and art education;
  • oral examination;
  • quality of life

Abstract

Background:  Today, Japan is becoming a super-aged society, with senior citizens already constituting over 21% of the population. In this situation, the question of how elderly people can extend their lives and enjoy independent lifestyles is becoming more important. The present study aims to clarify the relationship between the Quality of Life (QOL) of elderly females and their current oral functions and experiences of music and art education in early life.

Methods:  We carried out a survey study focusing on elderly females (Takarazuka Revue Company OG group and general female group) by carrying out a questionnaire survey and comparing cognitive function, oral examinations, cerebral atrophy in magnetic resonance imaging, and other characteristics.

Results:  It was shown that the Takarazuka Revue Company OG group had greater hippocampal volumes and significantly higher cognitive functions than the general female group. In addition, in the general female group, there was a significant correlation between a decrease in the number of remaining teeth and a decrease in activities in daily living, but in the Takarazuka Revue Company OG group, no such correlation was observed.

Conclusions:  The results showed that those who have received art education as part of their careers over an extensive period since early life have higher levels of cognitive function, QOL, physical activity, social activity and life satisfaction compared with the general female group; showing that they sense a purpose in life and live with a positive attitude. In contrast, in the general female group, those who have continued to enjoy hobbies have higher levels of cognitive function, QOL, physical activity, social activity and life satisfaction than those who have not, thus showing that they live with a positive attitude.