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Older Men Who Use Computers Have Lower Risk of Dementia

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Abstract

Objective

To determine if older men who use computers have lower risk of developing dementia.

Methods

Cohort study of 5506 community-dwelling men aged 69 to 87 years followed for up to 8.5 years. Use of computers measured as daily, weekly, less than weekly and never. Participants also reported their use of email, internet, word processors, games or other computer activities. The primary outcome was the incidence of ICD-10 diagnosis of dementia as recorded by the Western Australian Data Linkage System.

Results

1857/5506 (33.7%) men reported using computers and 347 (6.3%) received a diagnosis of dementia during an average follow up of 6.0 years (range: 6 months to 8.5 years). The hazard ratio (HR) of dementia was lower among computer users than non-users (HR = 0.62, 95%CI = 0.47–0.81, after adjustment for age, educational attainment, size of social network, and presence of depression or of significant clinical morbidity). The HR of dementia appeared to decrease with increasing frequency of computer use: 0.68 (95%CI = 0.41–1.13), 0.61 (95%CI = 0.39–0.94) and 0.59 (95%CI = 0.40–0.87) for less than weekly, at least weekly and daily. The HR of dementia was 0.66 (95%CI = 0.50–0.86) after the analysis was further adjusted for baseline cognitive function, as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination.

Conclusion

Older men who use computers have lower risk of receiving a diagnosis of dementia up to 8.5 years later. Randomised trials are required to determine if the observed associations are causal.

Citation: Almeida OP, Yeap BB, Alfonso H, Hankey GJ, Flicker L, et al.  (2012) Older Men Who Use Computers Have Lower Risk of Dementia. PLoS ONE 7(8):          e44239.            doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044239

Editor: Jerson Laks,         Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Received: June 3, 2012; Accepted: July 30, 2012; Published: August 28, 2012

Copyright: © 2012 Almeida et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: Funding provided by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia project grant numbers 279408, 379600, 403963 and 513823. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

* E-mail: osvaldo.almeida@uwa.edu.au

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0044239

About Post Author

Ralph Turchiano

I have a strong affinity for the sciences which led me to create my sites. My compulsion for the past decade has been reviewing literally every peer-reviewed research article. Which can easily be validated by following my posts. To me, science is where the real news is, as it will mold our destiny beyond that of politics or economics. 😉 Please feel free to e-mail: 161803p314159@gmail.com
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