A review of tobacco, alcohol, adiposity, and activity as predictors of cognitive change

Lo, Ada H.Y., Pachana, Nancy A., Byrne, Gerard J. and Sachdev, Perminder S. (2012) A review of tobacco, alcohol, adiposity, and activity as predictors of cognitive change. Clinical Gerontologist, 35 2: 148-194. doi:10.1080/07317115.2011.639856

Author Lo, Ada H.Y.
Pachana, Nancy A.
Byrne, Gerard J.
Sachdev, Perminder S.
Title A review of tobacco, alcohol, adiposity, and activity as predictors of cognitive change
Journal name Clinical Gerontologist   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0731-7115
Publication date 2012-03-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1080/07317115.2011.639856
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 35
Issue 2
Start page 148
End page 194
Total pages 47
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 3306 Health (social science)
3207 Social Psychology
3203 Clinical Psychology
2909 Gerontology
2717 Geriatrics and Gerontology
Abstract The global population is now aging rapidly, and cognitive impairment and dementia will be associated with increased disease burden worldwide. Recent research efforts have been directed at identifying risk and protective factors in both middle and late life in order to identify potential preventive interventions. Evidence from recent reviews indicates that modifiable risk factors such as tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, adiposity, and activities have significant impacts on cognitive function and dementia. However, it is not clear how these risk factors might influence within-person cognitive changes or rates of cognitive decline. We searched Medline and PsycINFO for prospective studies examining the effects of baseline and within-person changes in drinking, smoking, activity level, and adiposity on either cognitive functioning or cognitive changes. Because of the heterogeneity in methodology, a narrative review was used to summarize the findings. Forty-nine studies were found to be relevant to the current review-10 on smoking, 5 on adiposity, 12 on drinking, and 22 on activity level. This review found that smoking in general increased the rate of memory decline but not decline in language or visuospatial reasoning abilities. No consistent relationship between adiposity and change in global cognitive functioning could be found, regardless of whether adiposity was measured in mid-life or late life. Moderate alcohol consumption was shown to slow down decline in global cognitive functioning but not in specific domains. Finally, an active lifestyle physically, cognitively, and socially appeared to offer the most promise of slowing decline in global cognitive functioning, memory, and perceptual speed. Intervention programs targeted at modifying these lifestyle factors may have the potential of improving physical, mental, and cognitive health of our aging population, as well as enhancing overall quality of life.
Keyword Aging
Cognitive assessment
Women's health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 511119
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Version of record first published: 5 March 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 09 Jul 2012, 20:17:36 EST by System User on behalf of School of Medicine