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Don't Just Sit There, Do Something! Part 19 Dementia

Posted Feb 06 2013 2:22am
If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Thus, it should be no surprise to you that, as a family physician & geriatrician, I keep posting articles on the benefits of physical activity on other tenets of healthy aging.  What's surprising to no small extent is that I am now up to nineteen in a series of posts entitled "Don't Just Sit There, Do Something!"  I find this ironic because during my training, many times I had to just stand there rather than do something just for the sake of doing something.

So with that introduction in mind, I would like to point out a prospective observational cohort study published in yesterday's Annals of Internal Medicine in which the authors concluded that mid-life fitness was associated w/lower risk of dementia as an elder.  Now mind you, this was an observational study, albeit one including 19,458 community dwelling individuals followed for an average of 25yrs.  Therefore, one can't make statements as to cause & effect.  However, the linkage & association can't be overlooked, much less the strength of the statistics including the fact that those in the highest quintile of fitness had the lowest risk of all-cause dementia.

What's this mean for us?  Well, the next time we're imitating a supine spud, let's consider playing an ant rather than the grasshopper and get active in order to prevent a shortened, stroked-out, memory-less life.

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