To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
With the projected surge in global dementia cases and no curative treatment available, research is increasingly focusing on lifestyle factors as preventive measures. Social and cognitive leisure activities are promising targets, but it is unclear which types of activities are more beneficial. This study investigated the individual and joint contribution of cognitive and social leisure activities to dementia risk and whether they modify the risks associated with other potentially modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.
We used data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) from 7917 participants, followed up from 2008/2009 (Wave 4) until 2018/2019 (Wave 9) for incident dementia. Self-reported baseline cognitive activities (e.g. ‘reading the newspaper’), the number of social memberships (e.g. being a member of a social club) and social participation (e.g. ‘going to the cinema’) were clustered into high and low based on a median split. Subsequently, their individual and joint contribution to dementia risk, as well as their interaction with other dementia risk factors, were assessed with Cox regression models, adjusting for age, sex, level of education, wealth and a composite score of 11 lifestyle-related dementia risk factors.
After a median follow-up period of 9.8 years, the dementia incidence rate was 54.5 cases per 10.000 person-years (95% CI 49.0–60.8). Adjusting for demographic and other lifestyle-related risk factors, higher engagement in cognitive activities (HR = 0.58; 95% CI 0.40–0.84), a greater number of social memberships (HR = 0.65; 95% CI 0.51–0.84) and more social participation (HR = 0.71; 95% CI 0.54–0.95) were associated with lower dementia risk. In a joint model, only engagement in cognitive activities (HR = 0.60; 95% CI 0.40–0.91) and social memberships (HR = 0.75; 95% CI 0.56–0.99) independently explained dementia risk. We did not find any interaction with other modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.
Engagement in cognitive and social leisure activities may be beneficial for overall dementia risk, independent of each other and other risk factors. Both types of activities may be potential targets for dementia prevention measures and health advice initiatives.