Original ArticleExercise Level and Cognitive Decline: The MoVIES ProjectLytle, Mary Ellen MSW*; Vander Bilt, Joni MPH†; Pandav, Rajesh S MBBS, MPH†; Dodge, Hiroko H PHD*; Ganguli, Mary MD, MPH*†Author Information From the *Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; the †Division of Geriatrics and Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, Pittsburgh, PA. Received for publication October 6, 2003; accepted December 22, 2003. Supported by grant # AG07562 and grant # K24AG022035 from the National Institute on Aging, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services. Reprints: Mary Ellen Lytle, MSW, 668 Darcy Lane, Monongahela, PA 15063 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: April/May-June 2004 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 57-64 doi: 10.1097/01.wad.0000126614.87955.79 Buy Metrics Abstract Growing evidence suggests that physical exercise may be protective against cognitive impairment and decline. A prospective study of a representative rural community sample (N = 1,146) aged 65+ years examined self-reported exercise habits and measured global cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). A composite variable “exercise level” combining type, frequency, and duration of exercise was created with three levels: “high exercise” (aerobic exercise of ≥ 30 minute duration ≥ 3 times a week), “low exercise” (all other exercise groups), and “no exercise.” Cognitive decline was defined as being in the 90th percentile of decline in this cohort, ie, declining by 3 or more MMSE points during the 2-year interval between two assessments. In a multiple regression model, high exercise level at the baseline assessment was negatively associated with, ie, was protective against, being in the group with the greatest amount of decline at the follow-up assessment, after adjusting for likely confounders (odds ratio = 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.19, 0.78). When high exercise was redefined using frequency as ≥ 5 days per week as the threshold, as per the Surgeon General’s guidelines, both low exercise and high exercise were negatively associated with cognitive decline. Exercise may have implications for prevention of cognitive decline. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.