Staying physically active can help keep adults fit as they grow older, but, contrary to what some may think, it may not protect against mental decline, according to a new study.
"While participation in physical activity has been shown to have many &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/360/14987_tea.html' target=_blank>health benefits for older adults, this study does not provide strong support that it protects against cognitive decline," study author Dr Maureen T. Sturman of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and the John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, said.
Previous researchers have reported that physical activity may help guard against stroke and coronary heart disease, both of which may be associated with the development of dementia. Other studies have looked at the influence of physical activity on mental status and mental decline in old age, but such studies were either limited in their scope or had short follow-up times.
In the current study, Sturman and her team analysed 1993 to 2003 data from the Chicago Health and Aging Project, a large ongoing study of risk factors for chronic disease among elderly people. The 4,055 study participants, aged 73.5 years, on average, were black and white seniors who lived in the community.