Exercise a Defense Against Dementia: Study02/13/12
MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Here's another reason to get
into shape: Physical activity may reduce the risk of
dementia-related death, according to a new study.
Researchers assessed the health of more than 45,000 men and
nearly 15,000 women, ages 20 to 88 years, in the United States and
grouped them into one of three fitness categories -- low, middle or
After an average follow-up of 17 years, about 4,050 participants
died. Of those deaths, 164 were attributed to dementia (72 vascular
dementia and 92 Alzheimer's disease). Of those 164 deaths, 123 of
the people were in the low-fitness group, 23 were in the
middle-fitness group, and 18 were in the high-fitness group.
People in the high- and medium-fitness groups had less than half
the risk of dying as those in the low-fitness group, the
The study appears in the February issue of the journal
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"These findings support physical-activity promotion campaigns by organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association and should encourage individuals to be physically active," study author Riu Liu said in a journal news release.
"Following the current physical-activity recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine will keep most individuals out of the low-fit category and may reduce their risk of dying with dementia," Liu added.
Liu conducted the study as part of her dissertation at the
University of South Carolina. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at
the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
While deaths in the United States associated with heart disease,
breast cancer and stroke have declined in recent years, deaths
related to dementia and Alzheimer's rose 46 percent between 2002
and 2006, according to the release.
The study doesn't prove that exercise will prevent dementia,
however. Other factors may also come into play.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
has more about
Copyright © 2012
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.