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

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

Keywords

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

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