J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2011 Jun;15(1):19-24.

Relationship between Mental Activity and Cognitive Function in Community-Dwelling Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. antiaging@ajou.ac.kr
  • 2Institute on Aging, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Memory Impairment Center, Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to describe the status of mental activity participation in community-dwelling elderly and to evaluate the association between mental activity and cognitive function after adjustment for depression and anxiety.
This study was based on the Suwon Project, which was a cohort comprising of nonrandom convenience samples of ethnic Koreans aged 60 years and above. All the subjects completed the study questionnaire including their demographic characteristics, current and past illnesses history, drug history, Korean version-Mini Mental State Examination (K-MMSE), Korean version of Short Form Geriatric Depression Scale (SGDS-K), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). We checked how many hours per day are used for each items of 11 mental activities through the checklist.
Total time spent in 11 mental activities was 237.4+/-152.4 minutes per day. On multiple regression analysis, total time spent in 11 mental activities (MA-total), and time spent by watching television and reading book/newspaper showed statistically significant association with K-MMSE score after adjustment with age, sex, education, chronic medical illness, depression and anxiety.
Our result suggested that mental activity may be associated with cognitive function in the elderly without cognitive impairment in the community after adjusting age, sex, education, chronic medical illness, depression and anxiety.


Mental activity; Cognition; Elderly
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