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Original article| Volume 87, ISSUE 5, P437-442, May 2012

Computer Activities, Physical Exercise, Aging, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study



      To examine the association between computer use, physical exercise, aging, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

      Patients and Methods

      The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging is a population-based study of aging and MCI in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The study sample consists of a random sample of 926 nondemented individuals aged 70 to 93 years who completed self-reported questionnaires on physical exercise, computer use, and caloric intake within 1 year of the date of interview. The study was conducted from April 1, 2006, through November 30, 2008. An expert consensus panel classified each study participant as cognitively normal or having MCI on the basis of published criteria.


      Using a multivariable logistic regression model, we examined the impact of the presence during the study period of 2 lifestyle factors (physical exercise and computer use) after adjusting for a third lifestyle factor (caloric intake) on aging and MCI. We also adjusted for age, sex, education, medical comorbidity, and depression. The median daily caloric intake was significantly higher in participants with MCI than in controls (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.06; P=.001). Participants who engaged in both moderate physical exercise and computer use had significantly decreased odds of having MCI (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 0.36 [0.20-0.68]) compared with the reference group. In the interaction analyses, there was an additive interaction (P=.012) but not multiplicative interaction (P=.780).


      In this population-based sample, the presence of both physical exercise and computer use as assessed via survey was associated with decreased odds of having MCI, after adjustment for caloric intake and traditional confounders.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      CDR (Clinical Dementia Rating), CI (confidence interval), MCI (mild cognitive impairment), OR (odds ratio)
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