How You Rate Your Physical Fitness in Middle Age an
Indicator of Dementia Risk
Rating yourself in poor physical condition at about
50 increases dementia risk by four
Feb. 26, 2014 - How would you rate your own
physical fitness? Is it good, satisfactory or maybe even poor?
Surprisingly, your answer may reveal your future risk of developing
A recent collaborative study from Finland,
involving the follow-up of 3,559 adults for 30 years, has found that a
simple question about self-rated physical fitness in midlife may reveal
individuals who are at an increased risk of developing dementia.
who reported poor self-rated physical fitness in midlife, at the mean
age of 50 years, were four times more likely to get dementia during the
next three decades compared to those with good self-rated physical
"Previous research has shown that self-rated health
is a strong indicator of adverse health events. This is the first large
population-based study investigating associations between self-rated
physical fitness during the three decades from midlife to later life and
dementia risk," says Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr. Jenni Kulmala from the
Gerontology Research Center at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
The association between poor self-rated physical
fitness and dementia was most pronounced among noncarriers of the
apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, that is, people who did not have a strong
genetic susceptibility for dementia. A strong association was also
observed among people with chronic diseases.
"Chronic conditions independently increase the
dementia risk. Furthermore, if a person additionally feels that his or
her physical fitness is poor, the risk is even higher. In terms of
dementia prevention, maintaining good physical fitness seems to be
especially important for people with chronic diseases," Kulmala says.
Poor self-rated fitness is known to be affected by
lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, poor mental wellbeing,
lack of social connections, lower education, high body mass index and
smoking. Perceived poor physical fitness therefore integrates several
unfavorable aspects of lifestyle that have all been previously linked
to increased dementia risk.
"The perception of poor physical fitness is most
likely affected by different factors for different people. Therefore, I
would encourage those who rate their fitness as poor to think about the
factors behind this perception. Increasing physical and social activity,
making better dietary choices or quitting smoking, for example, could
change the rating into more positive. Individual choices that make you
feel physically better may substantially decrease your future risk of
developing dementia," Kulmala says.
The participants in this study came from the
Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Incidence of Dementia (CAIDE)
study, which is an ongoing joint effort of the Department of Neurology
at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio; the National Institute of
Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; and the Aging Research Center of
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. The aim of the CAIDE study is
to investigate the connection between social, lifestyle and
cardiovascular risk factors and cognition and dementia. The Academy of
Finland has funded the research through Jenni Kulmala's project.
• Nursing Home Abuse,
• Medical Malpractice -
• Experienced Legal Help
Janicek Law attorneys are working every day to help senior citizens and others harmed by failure of care in nursing homes and the healthcare system.
you or a loved one have suffered due to the neglect or inadequate care of others, call us today. We offer the skill and knowledge gained in more than twenty years of success.
Free Consultation - Call toll free 1-877-795-3425
Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby