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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9016924, 13 pages
Research Article

Impact of Physical Activity on Cognitive Decline, Dementia, and Its Subtypes: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies

1Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
2Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Institute for Mathematical Research, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
4Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Chris B. Guure

Received 8 September 2016; Revised 4 December 2016; Accepted 27 December 2016; Published 7 February 2017

Academic Editor: Youngdeok Kim

Copyright © 2017 Chris B. Guure et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The association of physical activity with dementia and its subtypes has remained controversial in the literature and has continued to be a subject of debate among researchers. A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies on the relationship between physical activity and the risk of cognitive decline, all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia among nondemented subjects are considered. A comprehensive literature search in all available databases was conducted up until April 2016. Well-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed with focus on prospective studies ≥ 12 months. The overall sample from all studies is 117410 with the highest follow-up of 28 years. The analyses are performed with both Bayesian parametric and nonparametric models. Our analysis reveals a protective effect for high physical activity on all-cause dementia, odds ratio of 0.79, 95% CI (0.69, 0.88), a higher and better protective effect for Alzheimer’s disease, odds ratio of 0.62, 95% CI (0.49, 0.75), cognitive decline odds ratio of 0.67, 95% CI (0.55, 0.78), and a nonprotective effect for vascular dementia of 0.92, 95% CI (0.62, 1.30). Our findings suggest that physical activity is more protective against Alzheimer’s disease than it is for all-cause dementia, vascular dementia, and cognitive decline.