WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in adult education classes was associated with a lower five-year risk for developing dementia, according to a study published online Aug. 23 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Hikaru Takeuchi and Ryuta Kawashima, from Tohoku University in Japan, examined the association between adult education class participation and subsequent cognitive decline and dementia risk over time. The analysis included U.K. Biobank study participants followed from 2006 to 2010.
The researchers found that participation in adult education classes at baseline was associated with greater subsequent retention of fluid intelligence scores but was not associated with reaction time or visuospatial memory performance. Those who participated in adult education classes showed a significantly lower risk for incident dementia after five years (hazard ratio, 0.813; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.703 to 0.940). This association persisted after adjusting for cognitive function at baseline or genetic predisposition to dementia.
"Non-participation in these classes should be considered a risk factor for dementia," the authors write. "However, future interventional studies are required to fully demonstrate causality."