J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2012 Jun;16(1):38-43.

Relationship between Social Activity and Cognitive Function in Korean 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.
  • 5Suwon Geriatric Mental Health Center, Suwon, Korea.
  • 6Memory Impairment Center, Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea.


Among non-pharmaceutical measures for preventing cognitive impairment, involving in social activities is known to be very effective. We tried to examine the correlation between social activity and cognitive function.
This study was based on the Suwon Project, a cohort comprising of non-random convenience samples of ethnic Koreans aged 60 years and above. All the subjects completed the study questionnaire which included demographic characteristics, current and past history of illnesses, drug history, Korean version of Mini Mental State Examination (K-MMSE), Korean version of Short Form Geriatric Depression Scale, and Beck Anxiety Inventory. We checked the time consumed in each 9 social activities through the checklist.
On multiple logistic regression analysis, the total time spent in social activities wasinversely associated with the K-MMSE score after adjusting confounding variables like age, sex, education level, depression, anxiety and vascular risk factor (beta=-0.041, p=0.024). On the other hand, correlation was found between K-MMSE score and time spent in participating in religious party (beta=0.053, p=0.003) as well as time spent in elder's university (beta=0.040, p=0.025) after adjustingage, sex, education, depression, anxiety and vascular risk factor.
Our results suggest that involving in quality social activities might be more effective in improving cognitive function than spending longer total time in any social activity.


Social activity; Cognition; Elderly
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