(HealthDay News) – The combination of engaging in moderate exercise and using a computer significantly reduces the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among the elderly.

Yonas E. Geda, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, and colleagues examined the correlation between computer use, physical exercise, aging, and MCI using questionnaire results from a random sample of 926 non-demented individuals (aged 70–93 years) participating in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Within one year of the date of interview, participants completed self-reported questionnaires on physical exercise, computer use, and caloric intake. Each participant was classified as cognitively normal or having MCI by an expert consensus panel.

The researchers found that, compared with controls, participants with MCI had a significantly higher median daily caloric intake (odds ratio [OR], 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.06). Participants who engaged in computer use and moderate physical exercise had a significantly lower likelihood of having MCI (OR, 0.36) compared with the reference group. There was a significant additive interaction, but not multiplicative interaction, between the two activities.

“In this population-based sample, the presence of both physical exercise and computer use as assessed via survey was associated with decreased odds of having MCI, after adjustment for caloric intake and traditional confounders,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical imaging companies.

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