Religious education and midlife observance are associated with dementia three decades later in Israeli men

Michal Schnaider Beeri*, Michael Davidson, Jeremy M. Silverman, James Schmeidler, Ramit Ravona Springer, Shlomo Noy, Uri Goldbourt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the association of religious education and observance with dementia among participants in the Israeli Ischemic Heart Disease study. Study Design and Setting: We assessed dementia in 1,890 participants among 2,604 survivors of 10,059 participants in the Israeli Ischemic Heart Disease study, a longitudinal investigation of the incidence and risk factors for cardiovascular disease among Jewish male civil servants in Israel. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 651 subjects identified as possibly demented by the Modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status. Results: Of 1,628 subjects included in this analysis (mean age 82 at assessment), 308 (18.9%) had dementia. The prevalence rates of dementia (and odds ratios (ORs) relative to those with exclusively religious education, adjusted for age, area of birth, and socioeconomic status) were 27.1% for those with exclusively religious education, 12.6% (OR = 0.49) for those with mixed education, and 16.1% (OR = 0.76) for those with secular education. For religious self-definition and practice, the prevalence rates were 9.7%, 17.7%, 14.1%, 19.3%, and 28.8% for categories from least to most religious (ORs relative to the most religious: 0.43, 0.67, 0.48, 0.55). Conclusions: Examining lifestyles associated with religiosity might shed light onto environmental risks for dementia. Mechanisms underlying these associations remain elusive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume61
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Institute on AgingP01-AG02219, P50- AG05138, K01AG023515
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities67/99
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • Dementia
    • Education
    • Life style
    • Prevalence
    • Religion
    • Risk factors

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