Intellectual and physical activities, but not social activities, are associated with better global cognition: A multi-site evaluation of the cognition and lifestyle activity study for seniors in Asia (CLASSA)

Linda C.W. Lam, Paulus Anam Ong, Yustiani Dikot, Yulia Sofiatin, Huali Wang, Mei Zhao, Wenxiu Li, Jacqueline Dominguez, Boots Natividad, Suraya Yusoff, Jong Ling Fu, Vorapun Senanarong, Ada W.T. Fung, Ken Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: population ageing will lead to a leap in the dementia population in Asia. However, information about potentials for low-cost and low-risk interventions is limited. Objectives: to study the associations between lifestyle activities and global cognition from the Cognitive and Lifestyle Activity Study for Seniors in Asia (CLASSA). Design: a cross-sectional study. Methodology: we studied the association between global cognition and lifestyle activity participation in community living older adults (60 years or over) across nine sites in East Asia. A standardised lifestyle activity questionnaire exploring activities from four categories (intellectual, physical, social and recreational) was used to measure the pattern. Global cognition was categorised by locally validated versions of Mini-mental state examination (MMSE) or Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) (good cognition, GC-scored at the top 25% among participants with no significant cognitive deficit (SCD); normal cognition, NC-middle 50% among participants with no SCD; mild cognitive deficit, MCD-lowest 25% among participants with no SCD; SCD-below local cut-offs for dementia). Results: two thousand four hundred and four (1,009 men; 1,395 women) participants were recruited. The mean age was 71.0 (7.2) years. A higher variety of intellectual and physical activities were associated with GC; more social activities were associated with higher risks of having impaired cognition (multinomial logistic regression). The same association was found in participants with no SCD and had regular activities for over 10 years (n = 574). Conclusion: intellectual activity and physical exercise were associated with better cognitive states in Asian older adults. Community-based intervention may take considerations into specific types of activities to optimise cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-840
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Intellectual activities
  • Older people
  • Physical exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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