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      The Association Between Physical Activity and Cognitive Function With Considerations by Social Risk Status


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          We evaluated the association between physical activity and cognitive function among a national sample of the broader U.S. adult population, with consideration by social risk. Data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used to identify 2031 older adults, ages 60-85. Social risk was classified by measuring four NHANES variables, namely poverty level, education, minority status, and social living status, which were graded on a scale of 0-4, with higher scores corresponding with higher social risk. The Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) was used to assess cognitive function. Physical activity was assessed via a validated self-report questionnaire. After adjustments, meeting physical activity guidelines (vs not) was associated with greater cognitive function (β = 3.0, 95% CI [1.5, 4.4], p < 0.001). In this same model, social risk status was also independently associated with cognitive function. Meeting physical activity guidelines (vs. not) was not associated with higher cognitive function among those with a social risk score of of 3 (β = -0.01; 95% CI [-6.3, 6.4], p = 0.99) or a social risk score of 4 (β = -6.8, 95% CI [-15.7, 2.0], p = 0.12). In this national sample of older adults, meeting physical activity guidelines, and degree of social risk were independently associated with cognitive function. However, physical activity was not associated with cognitive function among older adults with the highest degree of social risk.

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          Most cited references23

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              Social relationships and risk of dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies.

              It is unclear to what extent poor social relationships are related to the development of dementia. A comprehensive systematic literature search identified 19 longitudinal cohort studies investigating the association between various social relationship factors and incident dementia in the general population. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Low social participation (RR: 1.41 (95% CI: 1.13-1.75)), less frequent social contact (RR: 1.57 (95% CI: 1.32-1.85)), and more loneliness (RR: 1.58 (95% CI: 1.19-2.09)) were statistically significant associated with incident dementia. The results of the association between social network size and dementia were inconsistent. No statistically significant association was found for low satisfaction with social network and the onset of dementia (RR: 1.25 (95% CI: 0.96-1.62). We conclude that social relationship factors that represent a lack of social interaction are associated with incident dementia. The strength of the associations between poor social interaction and incident dementia is comparable with other well-established risk factors for dementia, including low education attainment, physical inactivity, and late-life depression.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Psychol
                Europe's Journal of Psychology
                Eur. J. Psychol.
                30 November 2017
                : 13
                : 4
                : 767-775
                [a ]Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi , Oxford, MS, USA
                [2]Webster University Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
                [3]University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
                Author notes
                [* ]Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, 229 Turner Center, University, MS 38677, USA. Phone: 662-915-5521. Fax: 662-915-552. pdloprin@ 123456olemiss.edu

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 31 May 2017
                : 17 July 2017
                Self URI (journal-page): https://journals.psychopen.eu/
                Research Reports

                stress,minority status,poverty,exercise,executive function,elderly,education
                stress, minority status, poverty, exercise, executive function, elderly, education


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